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"Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"

"It was like the X-Men school for comedians, y'know? All these guys with superpowers, together!"

Live from New York, describe Saturday Night Live here!

Saturday Night Live is a ground-breaking NBC Sketch Comedy Variety Show, broadcast live from New York City in what had been, until its premiere in 1975, TV's "graveyard shift" slot. According to Wikipedia, it was initially created at the request of the network's then-president and CEO Herbert Schlosser as a scheduling replacement for reruns of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (which had previously aired in the slot before being retracted at the request of Johnny Carson himself, who wanted the repeat episodes to be saved for weekdays and aired whenever he was ill or chose to take a vacation in lieu of having to hire a guest host).

Often shortened to SNL for ease of reference, the show was specifically designed by its creator and executive producer, Lorne Michaels (who was once a writer on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In), as a showcase for young and edgy talent as a direct reaction to the older comedians who then dominated prime time but were fundamentally clueless about the tastes, styles, and preoccupations of younger Americans circa 1975. Rotating celebrity hosts and musical guests added to the "fingers on the pulse of pop culture" vibe the show strived for. During its early years, SNL reveled in a feeling of being just shy of completely out of control, and pushed the boundaries of television far beyond what anyone had ever seen before. By design the show's regular cast is continually shifting, with veterans departing for solo careers and young performers being recruited regularly.


The number of stars that emerged from this show is mind-boggling in itself:

SNL Cast Members (Past & Present):

    Cast Members A–Z 

Not coincidentally, many of these cast members are also veterans of The Second City, a world-class improv theatre troupe in Chicago and Toronto. Others are veterans of the Groundlings, a similar improv troupe based in Los Angeles.

Every episode features the guest host delivering an opening monologue and participating in most of the evening's sketches. Actors, musicians, and comedians are the most common selections. They have always had a standing band for various musical numbers, but often with a guest musician to perform a piece or two in the middle of the program. If the host is a well-known musician, they will often fill both roles, and sometimes guest musicians participate in skits too, though not as often as the host. And that's not counting the occasional unannounced surprise guests that can show up, from a brief cameo to a whole scene alongside the guest host. Steve Martin, John Goodman,note  and Alec Baldwin all have hosted the show over a dozen times, while Dave Grohl holds the record for musical appearances, with eleven.note 


Several sketches from the show have been turned into feature films, mostly in the 90's. Quality ranged from good: The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, Wayne's World 2, MacGruber to middling: Coneheads, Blues Brothers 2000, to terrible: A Night at the Roxbury and Superstar (1999), The Ladies Man. Two, Coneheads and Stuart Saves His Family, have been Vindicated by History. Most infamous though would be It's Pat!, which garnered a 0% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes.

Widely viewed as always having been better when one was younger, whenever that happened to be. In fact, the show seems to operate in cycles — it starts out outrageous and fresh and stays that way for a few years, then when its outrageousness becomes the norm the show gets panned for "not being funny anymore". The claims are solidified when a favorite cast member leaves, and the show goes through a down period as it transitions to a new cast. Then when the right cast members are found, the show becomes funny again and finds a new audience.

SNL has essentially become a New York City treasure, despite the years of turmoil (both on the show and in the world) that threatened to end the show and tarnish its legacy, and has proved time and again that it can survive anything thrown at it, from fickle fans to national crises.

Thank you, and...



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     Tropes #–G 
  • 20 Minutes into the Past:
    • In the April 8, 2000 episode hosted by Christopher Walken, there was the "More Cowbell" sketch which satirized Blue Öyster Cult's recording of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" set in 1976.
    • In the Season 47 episode 18 on April 16, 2022, there was a skit about The Black Eyed Peas making the songs "I Gotta Feeling" and "Boom Boom Pow". It was made in 2022 but set in 2008, both on April 16.
  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Kristen Wiig as Dooneese Maharelle, a regular on the Lawrence Welk show and strangely deformed and deranged, usually going for the male singers by... umm... grabbing their mikes.
      "I want your cannoli now!"
    • The various girlfriends / co-workers of Barbara DeDrew at the "Whiskers R We" pet shelter all seem to be waaaay more into her than she is into them.
    • Michelle, the reporter on the "Around the Town" beat, is clearly very attracted to the various women she interviews, but her socially awkward, desperate and inappropriate flirting style really puts them off. And it's not like they were exactly drooling over her to begin with.
    • The Running Gag of Leslie Jones hitting on Colin Jost in Weekend Update, primarily from Leslie being as subtle about it as a car crash.
  • Aborted Arc: Season 44 has Michael Che explaining that he negotiated his contract to allow him to use the N-word 4 times that season, and then does it 1 time. By the end of season 44 it's never come up again.
  • Absurdly-Long Limousine: This sketch has one full of so many occupants that they can all fit behind each window, as the whole vehicle slowly advances through a drivethru and brings every single one in front of the order window.
  • Accidental Athlete: "Waikiki Hockey" from the Wayne Gretzky/Fine Young Cannibals episode of season 14.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • When Leslie Jones apparently thought Margot Robbie was Kate Upton.
      Leslie: (aside) I've done far worse; I used to call Kate McKinnon Kate Middleton for a year.
    • Kate McKinnon as geriatric actress Debette Goldry, who's simply too old to learn how to pronounce names like Lupita Nyong'o (which gets mangled into Little Peter Nono).
    • When John Mulaney hosted in 2018, announcer Darrell Hammond twice pronounced his name as John Mulvaney.
    • When Saoirse Ronan hosted, her opening monologue was about how often people do this to her, with cast members calling her "Cersei," "sushi," "sore cheese," and "inertia."
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adam Westing:
    • It's not uncommon for the host to do a sketch in which he or she exaggerates how the public views him or her (cf. Lindsay Lohan playing herself as a convict on a season 37 episode, Tom Hanks playing a moronic version of himself on Celebrity Jeopardy!, Justin Timberlake playing a fictional ancestor of himself who predicts that his future child will be a boy band singer, break out into a solo career, team up with Andy Samberg to make music videos, and, most importantly, have sex with Britney Spears and deny it up and down, Kelly Ripa attributing her perky personality to a cocaine-laced hair dye in a fake commercial from season 29, etc).
    • Tiffany Haddish got to work her goofy dances into her sketches more than once - a spoof of Mortal Kombat even has Tiffany as a character with nothing but goofy dances for special moves.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    • One Celebrity Family Feud has the survey question "things you do when you're bored". Aidy Bryant as Adele merely answers with a cheeky giggle and a "y'know..."
      Steve Harvey: Oh you bet I do... Show me fiddlin' with your gibblets! (buzzed)
    • The Jason Momoa/Mumford & Sons episode has a sketch where Elves on a Shelf come together and share updates on the kids they watch. One elf isn't having a good time because his kid, a thirteen-year-old-boy, is...exploring his body in a way that can't be described as naughty or nice. One of the items on his list is some very soft socks.
  • Air Quotes:
    • Chris Farley's "Weekend Update" character Bennett Brauer uses air quotes for most of his segment. In one memorable episode he does so many air quotes he actually takes off. Then the wires holding him up get tangled.
      Bennett Brauer: Thought you'd seen the last of old Bennett, perhaps? Thought the network bigwigs would have sent Bennett and his negative "Q rating" on a slow boat China? Well.. maybe I don't "look the part." I'm not "svelte."I don't "look comfortable on camera,"I'm not "sobby". I don't "understand what's going on in the news." I'm not "likeable" I don't "get along with people," when I go to work, I don't "make eye contact." I guess I don't "fit the mold." I don't "wear the latest clothes" or, even ones that don't "reek!" I don't "change my underwear," I'm not "buff." I don't have "firm breasts" I don't "exercise." And when I do sweat, I don't "shower." I'm not "spic-and-span" I don't "clean the area between my crotch and legs.". But, for the time being, I guess the network "enforcers" are opting for my approach, until Joe Consumer tells them he'd rather get his two cents from commentators who don't "make babies cry" and don't "drink maple syrup straight from the bottle" and don't [as he makes the quotes sign with his fingers, wires pull him in the air to create the illusion that he's made the gesture enough times to make him airborne] "leave old, dried-up deodorant cakes under their arm for weeks at a time" and, uh.. I'm flying. I'm flying! I'm flying! [the wires get caught in the lights atop the Update set, as Chris Farley hangs little more than three feet above the floor] Holy Schnikes!
    • From a more recent Weekend Update, Colin Jost:
      Colin: Disney recently announced the first Latina Disney Princess. Oh, it's fine for them to say it, but when I call a girl a "Latina Princess", I'm told that it's "creepy" and I should "leave the quinceañera".
      Michael: How many quinceañeras have you been in?
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Carol (Aidy Bryant) in "Office Christmas Party".
      "Somebody control Carol from New Media!"
    • Kristen Stewart in a sketch about a college drinking support group (as in, they don't support drinking per se):
      "You ever pass out and wake up with a dog tagging chip in your neck and you're like 'whuuut?' "
    • The Drunkest Contestant on "The Bachelor". Says it all, really.
  • Alien Among Us:
    • "The Coneheads", who always answered questions with "We come from France!".
  • All Gays Love Theater: In the "Crucible Cast Party" sketch, one of the actresses brags about how all the boys at the high school theater cast party want to get with her... ignorant to the fact that they're all flirting with each other.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • To make people forget about the disjointed lousiness of Season 11 (1985-86) and to start fresh with a new and better cast — and to spoof what Dallas had just done over at CBS to negate its badly-received 1985-86 season — SNL used this trope by having Madonna (who hosted the Season 11 premiere) announce during the cold opening of Season 12 premiere that Season 11 was all "a dream...a horrible, horrible dream." While this would be met with contempt over the writers pulling something so cliched, the fact that the first episode had a newer, funnier cast made up for it.
    • The end of the Season 20 (1994-95 season) episode hosted by Bob Newhart was revealed to be this, mimicking the ending to Newhart, complete with Suzanne Pleshette.
  • All Men Are Perverts:
    • The Lara Flynn Boyle sketch that sent up The Scarlet Letter, where, just as the men are reprimanding Hester Prynne for her scarlet "A", Boyle's character wanders in with a scarlet "BJ" sewn into her clothing. The men become delighted.
    • On Weekend Update, Amy Poehler delivers a lengthy and hilarious editorial against the then current fad of female celebrities flashing their genitals during publicity events. At the end she asks Seth Meyers if he has anything to add. His only comment is "Keep up the good work, ladies."
    • Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy. Hammond's Connery loves to antagonize Will Ferrell's Trebek with increasingly bawdy tales of his exploits with the latter's mother.
      Ferrell/Trebek: For your information, my mother is in a nursing home in Alberta, Canada.
      Hammond/Connery: Oh, she was nursing it alright!
  • All Myths Are True: One recurring constant of the SNL sketchverse - of special note, the premise of Kenan's "Sumpn' Claus" relies on Santa Claus being real, while Kenan's also played a mall Santa and the real Santa!
  • All Periods Are PMS: There's a fake commercial for a drug that helps women through the downsides of the menstrual cycle by forcibly constraining them from 12 times a year to just one day. Unfortunately the end result has the patients going literally Ax-Crazy (as in, Tina Fey going after all her colleagues with an axe!)
  • All Women Are Lustful:
    • One iconic moment from Weekend Update involved Kristen Wiig as a "flirting expert", leading up to a moment that spawned a famous animated gif as she hiked up both legs and started shuffling towards Seth Meyers.
    • From a more recent Weekend Update:
      Cecily Strong: A man in Ireland fell off his bike in an accident and became erect for 5 weeks. I know what I'm getting my boyfriend for Valentine's day. (inset shows a mountain bike)
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • Dana Carvey's "Massive Headwound Harry" (until a dog was shown chewing off the head wound prosthetic on Carvey's head) and the recurring sketch, "Appalachian Emergency Room" (where rednecks come into a backwoods doctor's office and tell the receptionist how they got injured).
    • "Basketball Scene" has two background actors (Jimmy Fallon and Mikey Day) try to play basketball, and during multiple takes, they hit themselves in the face with the ball, fail to dunk the ball and face-plant the ground, and accidentally hit one of the film crew off-camera.
  • Amusingly Short List:
    • There was a Running Gag on the Colin Jost/Michael Che era of Weekend Update where they present a list that's implied to be lengthy, only to have a small number of items on it. We then cut back to them to find them in the middle of something that should have been finished before the list was supposed to end.
    • In the Mike Pence Impeachment Strategy cold open, Mike Pompeo says that fleeing the country is an option. There's a "whole list" of countries that would be happy to have them: "North Korea, Saudi Arabia, end of list".
  • Anachronism Stew: Kristen Wiig's opening monologue about the first few Thanksgivings is a mishmash of American cultural icons, from Columbus (who's apparently Korean) to Betsy Ross sewing the first napkin for FDR.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Anderson Cooper (Alex Moffat) at the hands (and teeth!) of Kellyanne Conway (Kate Mckinnon), referencing the fate of Georgie.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: "Office Christmas Party":
    "This is getting out of hand / We love that people are having fun / But do us a favor and just be safe, guys."
  • Animal Is the New Man: The show had a series of sketches called "Bear City" in which a meteor strikes an American city, driving the human population underground and allowing the bears to rise up and fill the roles formerly filled by humans. The sketches are notable in that the humor is driven entirely through action as the bears cannot talk.
  • The Announcer:
    • Don Pardo, who announced the first season back in 1975 and had been holding the job well into his nineties. Up until his death in 2014, his announcements had been prerecorded from his home.
    • For Season 7, Pardo was replaced by Mel Brandt, reportedly at the insistence of Michael O'Donoghue, who'd been re-hired as a writer/producer for the show by incoming producer Dick Ebersol. By the end of the season, O'Donoghue had been fired, and Pardo was brought back. For the December 1981 episodes hosted by Tim Curry and Bill Murray, however, Brandt was replaced with Bill Hanrahan.
    • With Don Pardo's death, former cast member Darrell Hammond is now hired as Pardo's replacement.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: The Baking Championship series of sketches has the host’s cake turn out so poorly that it somehow comes to life.
  • Apathetic Teacher: One sketch has a bunch of high school students seemingly trick their teacher (David Hyde Pierce) into thinking the lyrics to various popular rock songs are original poems they wrote for an assignment. After they are dismissed, it's revealed he knew all along and he leaves to smoke marijuana with another teacher.
  • Argentina Is Nazi-Land: Season 44 covers Donald Trump attending the G20 summit in Argentina:
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • The categories on Sprockets' Das Ist Jeopardy are "Pain", "Fear", "Art", "Inert Gasses", "Countries That Are Weak", and "Things That Begin With 'P'"
    • In The Godfather in group therapy sketch, Vito Corleone talks of all the bad things that have happened to him: Mob War, Hauled Before a Senate Sub-Committee, the death of his son Sonny, and the ASPCA is still after him for that horse's head stunt.
    • In one sketch from the Dec. 17, 2016 episode, when Hillary Clinton shows a list of reasons to a member of the Electoral College to not vote for Trump, the last reason is "He met with Kanye West this week."
    • Kate Mckinnon as Debette Goldry, screen starlet from the black and white days, on the Harvey Weinstein scandal:
      "Everything old is new again. Producers are abusing starlets, there's Nazis marching in the streets; suddenly nude pantyhose is on trend. I've never been more at home! When's polio coming back, this'll be fun!"
    • In "The Rock Obama" cold opening, the Republican senators and speaker face the wrath of the Rock Obama after the trio wanted to "meet a world leader whose people actually respect him," accuse him of botching the situation in the Middle East, claim they understand foreign policy better than him, and note his March Madness bracket got totally busted.
  • The Artifact:
    • "Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!" comes from the fact that the show was actually called NBC's Saturday Night and not Saturday Night Live during its first season, because of that aforementioned short lived Howard Cosell show on ABC.
    • The show's 90-minute running time. Originally, SNL was a replacement for Tonight Show reruns, which was a 90-minute show at the time. If the show were to premiere today, it would probably be limited to around an hour like NBC's other late night offerings.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Guilty of this in a 2013 sketch featuring host Melissa McCarthy as Sheila Kelly, the aggressively abusive womens' basketball coach at fictional NCAA Division III school Middle Delaware State (parodying former Rutgers mens' coach Mike Rice). In an interview clip, the school's athletic director (played by cast member-at-the-time Tim Robinsonnote ) tries to defend her behavior by pointing out that the players are receiving a free education via athletic scholarships. Division III institutions are prohibited from giving out athletic scholarships (in fact, that's the main distinction between Division III and the other two divisions.)
  • Ascended Meme:
    • invokedThe whole point of the 100th Digital Short is cramming in every Memetic Mutation permeated by previous The Lonely Island digital shorts (and cramming the ascended memes of Will Ferrell's most popular sketches and plugging his three "Best Of" DVDs).
    • There have been several cases where a Real Life political figure was so reminiscent of a comedian, there was a groundswell of demand that the person needed to play the figure in an SNL sketch. In 2008, everyone compared Sarah Palin to Tina Fey, so she returned to the show for the role. After countless jokes likening Bernie Sanders to Larry David in 2016, David made a surprise appearance as Sanders and played the role several more times. In 2020, during the post-election controversy, a voting machine IT contractor named Melissa Carone made wild, unsubstantiated claims about vote fraud and testified in front of a committee in the Michigan state House of Representatives. Carone's overly-exaggerated, theatrical mannerisms and Valley Girl-type voice made the video go viral. Most people commented that at the very least she seemed like an SNL character, and many specifically noted a heavy similarity to Cecily Strong's Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party, so on the next show Strong did an impression of Carone.
  • Asian Cleaver Fever: Exaggerated and parodied in the "Samurai Delicatessen" sketches, which feature John Belushi as a samurai running the counter of a New York deli. Sketches feature the samurai angrily chopping up meat for sandwiches using his katana.
  • Asians Eat Pets: When Lucy Liu hosted, her monologue took a crack at several Asian stereotypes. At one point, she serves the cast members her recipe for cocker spaniel. The cast members are disgusted...except for Horatio Sanz.
  • Aside Glance: The look Kristen Wiig gives the camera in 2020's Christmas Morning is telling and devastating.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Japanese-sounding gibberish that John Belushi would spout during his "samurai" sketches.
  • Ass Shove:
    • Season 39 starts with a sketch about Barack Obama (Jay Pharaoh) bringing in some members of the public to better explain Obamacare, except none of them have any idea how it works, and an actual doctor (Kate Mckinnon) is clearly going through a mental breakdown - not over Obamacare but over having to remove one too many things from people's rectums.
      "Thank you, doctor. Something we should keep in our minds... or butts..."
    • There's a Take That! on the whole selfie stick thing, the Hands Free Selfie Stick. Says it all, really.
      "When you're ready to take a picture, just clench!"
    • From Season 43, Razz P Berry (Donald Glover) gets back at his girlfriend for cheating on him by stuffing all the jewellery he bought for her up his own butt. That's not even the weirdest thing he did. Oh, and he followed the wrong woman.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: When Adele got to host, she owned up to being a Sir Swears-a-Lot in the monologue, but one sketch goes instead in this direction when she plays a vengeful ghost who needs someone to settle her Unfinished Business - and ends up with Pete Davidson's Chad. Not because of his general incompetence - but because he ends up Killed Off for Real.
    Adele: Oh for F**K'S SAKE!!
  • Attack of the Political Ad: Most of their political sketches are exaggerated versions of common attack ads that appear during elections.
  • Attentive Shade Lowering: The 1991 skit "Schmitt's Gay Beer" has a variation; Chris Farley flips up the lenses on his sunglasses with a dazed expression to gawk at a pool-going man.
  • The Backstage Sketch: These happen occasionally, and tend to show the host preparing in his/her dressing room, cast members interacting with each other or Lorne Michaels, etc. Usually these are used as cold openings.
  • Bad Boss: One sketch involved guest star Pierce Brosnan as a prospective employee who has second thoughts when his potential boss, Mr. Tarkanian (played by Will Ferrell), is a complete monster to his underlings. Mr. Tarkanian even murders an employee right in front of him.
  • Bad Future: When Alec Baldwin is shown the future of 2011, he finds the term Baldwin is synonymous with crap, after his hosting sucked so bad. Realizing what an important responsibility hosting is, Alec asks to be taken back to the present, but discovers he is still in the present.
  • Bad Santa:
    • Kenan as "Sumpn' Claus", who knows if you've been naughty enough to get yourself in trouble and does the nice thing by bailing you out with cash. Apparently he'd been booted from the North Pole due to... indiscretions with Mrs Claus. As for where the cash really comes from? Well we don't need to be talkin' about that...
    You sweatin' Santa's mad at you? What, you thought you were friends? He sees you when you're sleeping! That's weird!
    • The episode with the return of Eddie Murphy is about a polar bear attack on Santa's workshop, linked directly to land development forcing said bears out of their natural habitat as well as shoddy fencing, all pinned on the big man himself.
    Hashtag #santaknew!
    • In 2020, a sketch has Santa receive letters from a manic fan who's a parody of "Stan" by Eminem, down to driving in the rain with his girlfriend in the trunk. Santa just brushes him off.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • One Weekend Update pays tribute to Barbara Walters as she retires from daytime tv by showing her iconic moments from tv, which are all really from past SNL sketches where Barbara was played by Gilda Radner, Rachel Dratch, Nasim Pedrad etc. Then Cecily announces Barbara Walters as a Weekend Update guest for that week... and it's the real Barbara Walters!
    • One sketch is about an elderly black inmate played by Kenan at his parole hearing - you half expect him to be wrongfully incarcerated for all of the 40 years he's been in there, but it turns out the hearing is to move him to death row for killing and eating another inmate.
    • A subtle case in the Weekend Update Summer Edition of 2017:
      Michael: "The opioid crisis began when doctors were allowed to prescribe more than they were required to. I had trouble sleeping once - the doctor gave me a bottle of 100 Vicodins even though I only required 3. It was because of this that I became addicted to selling Vicodin."
    • Mikey Day plays a man just extradited out of North Korea, and the US military puts him up at a hotel where the receptionist (Special Guest Kumail Nanjani) keeps bringing up the Stargazer Lounge in every other line. Considering the situation you half expect it to be Spy Speak, or even a trap with North K agents already in the place... it's really because the receptionist does double duty as lounge singer.
    • There's a sketch about a Wild Teen Party in season 45, with all the potential for shenanigans like someone rolling a blunt, the presence of beer and this girl telling the guy "let's chill in your room"... but the real joke is a teacher (host Will Ferrell) who invited himself to the party, just because he really, really didn't want to drink alone.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: From one Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch:
    Sean Connery: "What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold? One's a sick duck... I can't remember how it ends but your mother's a whore."
  • "Balls" Gag: One of "The Delicious Dish" sketches has a guest named Pete Schweddy, who specializes in things like rum balls, popcorn balls, etc. It consists entirely of lines about "Schweddy balls," balls in mouths, and every other innuendo the writers could think of.
  • "Basic Instinct" Legs-Crossing Parody:
    • Sharon Stone hosted around the time Basic Instinct was released and parodied her leg crossing in her opening monologue and we see the reactions of Chris Farley, Lorne Michaels and the SNL writers. From the same episode, there was a parody of the interrogation scene with Pat in the seat and did the leg crossing.
    • When Basic Instinct 2 was released, SNL also did a mock trailer sketch that revolved entirely around the interrogation scene, hyping "more hair pie", and subtitling it The Return of the Beaver.
  • Batter Up!: In "The Joe Pesci Show" sketches, Pesci regularly finds some little thing to get angry about (in parody of GoodFellas) that ends with him pulling a baseball bat out from behind his desk and attacking his guest with it.
  • Berserk Button: From "Natalie's Rap 2":
    Beck: I have to ask, have you seen the new Star Wars movies?
    Natalie: No...
    Beck: Oh, they're really good. They're better than...
    Natalie: (Tranquil Fury on) Better than what?
  • Beyond the Impossible: The celebrities who play Celebrity Jeopardy! are so bad that by the end of the first round, five-digit negative scores are the norm. Keep in mind, the sketches were mostly done before the clue values were doubled on the actual show at a time when such a feat could not be done.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • One sketch is set in an airport, where the boarding staff calls specifically for "Brazilian and Italian travelers pushing and shoving while understanding intermittent English". Among the gaggle of noisy boarders is Nasim Pedrad, who's actually yelling in Persian.
    • According to Laura Ingraham (Kate McKinnon), The Ingraham Angle is rerun on Telemundo (a South American network) as "La Madre del Diablo".
  • Bilingual Dialogue: The episode with Jason Momoa has a sketch spoofing Game of Thrones, where Jason as Khal Drogo gets several lines in Dothraki. Even Brienne of Tarth (Heidi Gardner) can somehow understand him.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • It seems like Weekend Update is the only segment with any license to do this:
      Vanessa Bayer: Billy Bush said some very naughty things and he's getting a few million dollars from this network!
      Colin Jost: Trump will serve as executive producer of Celebrity Apprentice while remaining in office as President. It's a potential conflict of interests and highly illegal move - only on NBC!
    • From 1979 to 1981, the slogan for NBC was "Proud as a Peacock", used to put a positive spin on the network's dismal third place in the Nielsen ratings. But none of the shows that were produced during that time period succeeded, and NBC's problems continued. In response, there was a feeling of embarrassment as it was clear that NBC was not as proud as the slogan suggested, and in true Saturday Night Live fashion, the crew of SNL lampooned the network's slogan as "We're Loud" to vent their frustration, which did not sit well with network head Fred Silverman, who was responsible for the network's problems and demanded that the parody be purged, which it never was (the quality was not that great anyway).
    • The very same thing happened again for the 1981-82 season, the network's slogan was changed to "Our Pride is Showing", but problems persisted, and again, it was parodied on SNL, this time as "Our Age is Showing".
  • Black Comedy Burst:
    • For a show like SNL that prides itself in being funny without being mean, sometimes they will delve into dark humor to make their point (or to get a rise out of the audience). On a documentary special about SNL in the 2000s, Horatio Sanz has said that if a joke in a sketch made the audience groan in disgust, then the writers did a good job.
    • The Couples Quiz sketch piles on the Toilet Humor with host Jonah Hill accused of clogging the toilet - the real reason the host is so irate is because the building is a historical landmark, and any plumbing work has to be cleared with a preservation board. The reason the building is landmarked? The Black Dahlia was found in the parking lot.
  • Blackmail:
    • The ending of "Teacher Snow Day".
      Student: Oh I'm totally passing chemistry now. (takes out his camera phone and starts snapping)
    • The Alec Baldwin episode in 2017 has Alec implying that he got the recurring Donald Trump role by being "in the back seat of a car when Lorne Michaels ran over an orange stand".
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Dundee sisters (Kate, Cecily and host Amy Adams). Likely justified as they're really three raccoons in human form, working with a general outline of what humans are like.
  • Bloody Hilarious:
    • In a Season 4 sketch, Dan Aykroyd plays famous TV chef Julia Child — who accidentally cuts "the dickens out of my finger!" and proceeds to bleed to death.
    • The season 38 sketch on the episode hosted by Kristen Wiig about an acupuncture session gone horribly wrong used this to particularly chilling effect.
    • From the season 41 finale, a parody of Dead Poets Society where the part where everyone stands on their tables has one guy who stands up under the ceiling fan...
    • The Season 43 episode hosted by James Franco has a sketch about a gift wrapper who slices his finger and gets blood everywhere while further mutilating himself.
  • Body Horror:
  • Kate Mc Kinnon as Debette Goldry, a now-geriatric movie star from older, harsher times, reveals that she once had to make ends meet by selling her ribs.
    (hefting her actual breasts) "These are my lungs!"
  • Book Ends: The episode after Donald Trump won the 2016 election opened with Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton singing and playing "Hallelujah" on a piano in an uncharacteristically somber moment for the show. After Trump lost the 2020 election, the cold open included Alec Baldwin's Trump comically singing a funeral dirge version of "Macho Man", again on a piano.
  • Boring Broadcaster: The "Delicious Dish" sketches, a send-up of dull public radio shows.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The dueling pistols from "The Duel" which misfire and keep going off way more times than flintlock pistols logically should.
  • Bouncer: In the penultimate Season 46 episode Kenan Thompson and Keegan-Michael Key play bouncers for the theater on The Muppet Show who beat up Statler and Waldorf for heckling.
  • Brain Bleach: From Weekend Update Summer Edition:
    Colin: A 10-year-old boy in Louisiana is being honored for saving his mother's life when she prematurely went into labor and he helped to deliver his baby brother. Doctors say the baby is healthy, but it is unlikely the son and his mother will ever make eye contact again.
  • Brainless Beauty:
  • A Cecily character, a former porn star who does commercials with a friend (played by Vanessa Bayer) after her career in the industry. Initially, she just can't remember her name. In a later skit, she seems to have forgotten the very concept of names.
    Vanessa's character: Hi, I'm Brookie.
    Cecily's character: And you can, too.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: A spoof MTV bumper from the broadcast with John Cena:
    "At 6, it's Teen Mom. At 7, it's Teen Wolf. And at 8, it's Teen Wolf Mom.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The Lawrence Welk sketch at the end of season 37 has surprise guest John Hamm as an Italian singer, attempting the accent and heaping all the stereotypes about what he's been eating like cannolis, before briefly dropping it and going "you all get that I'm Italian, right?"
    • In a Stranger Things sketch from the Natalie Portman/Dua Lipa episode, several other creations like Eleven show off their powers and drawbacks. Kenan plays the last one, who always knows the perfect way to end a sketch.
    • During the 2020-21 season, Kate Mc Kinnon debuted a new character on Weekend Update, "Dr. Weknowdis." The segment inevitably ends with Colin addressing Kate directly and her popping out of character.
  • Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Parodied during the Baseball Strike of 1994 and 1995. They had a series of shorts shot as a documentary on Replacement Baseball. (To those who don't remember, that was when the teams brought in new players to replace the striking ones.) One short shows the breaking of the color barrier... a few minutes after they started hiring players. The gender barrier fell a few minutes later.
  • Breast Attack: Jennifer Aniston's opening monologue involves her and Molly Shannon starting a fight by attacking each other's boobs, in a promotion/lampooning of Fight Club, which Brad Pitt, Aniston's boyfriend at the time, had the lead role in.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The first episode had as part of "Weekend Update" a joke-free segment in which Laraine Newman reports to Chevy Chase about a series of 38 serial murders at the Blaine Hotel. At the end of "Weekend Update", announcer Don Pardo says "Guests of 'Saturday Night' stay at the fabulous Blaine Hotel!"
    • The Season 37 finale was hosted by none other than Mick Jagger, who mentions that he'd been in contact with a restaurant that named itself after a Stones classic, Ruby Tuesday. It's also Kristen Wiig's last week on the show, so they end the episode by serenading her with - you guessed it - Ruby Tuesday.
    • The cold open of Season 42's Alec Baldwin episode has Press Secretary Sean Spicer (Melissa McCarthy) tell the press that President Donald Trump will take the appeals court that stopped his travel ban to The People's Court. A later sketch has Trump (Baldwin) on The People's Court doing just that.
    • Also from season 42, the Running Gag of Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney's "blossoming relationship" led to Leslie spending too much time at work with Colin Jost, causing Kyle to descend into depression and jealousy and shooting Colin in both legs. At the end of the episode, Colin appears on crutches.
    • When The Weeknd appeared in season 41, Weekend Update did a deliberate Cutaway Gag titled "The Weeknd Update", just showing what The Weeknd is doing in the green room and that's it. When he comes back for the premiere of season 42, they do it again. Then he returned again for season 45, airing during the coronavirus outbreak... and they do it again!
      The Weeknd: I feel good. (Beat, then suddenly coughs)
    • Season 42 made a Running Gag out of casting a Grim Reaper type as Steve Bannon - one Cold Open in season 43 spoofs A Christmas Carol, and when the ghost of Christmas yet to Come appears, Donald Trump assumes it's Steve Bannon. It's Hilary Clinton under the hood.
    • John Mulaney's monologue in season 43 has him mentioning one of his primary inspirations, Patrick Stewart, who got to host once and inexplicably went all Shakespearan when announcing the musical guest - Salt-N-Pepa - as "Salt 'n' PEPA!!" Later in that episode, John introduces the musical guest Jack White in the exact same fashion.
    • The episode with Jennifer Lopez has a sketch about a cheap commercial for hoop earrings, which J-Lo mentions that you have to take off before you get into a fight. One week later, the Cold Open covers the Democratic candidates' debate and ends with a surprise appearance from Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump, who'd been backstage hearing them badmouthing him like it was a reality show - cue Donald storming on stage while taking his hoop earrings off.
  • British Stuffiness: Parodied in the Season 45 sketch "The War in Words: William and Lydia", where a WW2 RAF fighter pilot (Mikey Day) writes heartfelt letters to his wife at home (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), and she replies with letters that consist of one word. It gets more and more surreal as she cuts off most of her hair and shows up in the background of a newsreel featuring Hitler.
    Lydia: [writing] Dear William. Oh, I see? So when you talk to some French whore, it's "It was nothing, move on." But when I go to a party where there happens to be a man, it's "I demand an explanation"?
    William: [reading her letter] YES BECAUSE IT'S HITLER!
    Lydia: [writing] I am only glad your father is not alive to see what a hypocrite you've become. Love, Lydia.
    William: [writing] Darling Lydia, Has my father passed away?! This is the first I'm hearing of this! How did he go? Also, still rabidly curious about the Hitler of it all. Answers, please, William.
  • Broadcast Live: From New York. Through the April 8, 2017 show, only the Eastern and Central time zones actually see it live; other U.S. time zones get it on tape delay. Starting April 15, the Mountain and Pacific time zones will get it live as well.
  • Broken Record: Will Ferrell's character in the "Wake Up and Smile" sketch undergoes this when the teleprompter is on the fritz. "I understand you've got some cooking tips for us, Diane. I understand you've got some cooking tips for us, Diane. I understand you've got some cooking tips for us, Diane." (etc)
  • The Bus Came Back: In the Season 47 episode hosted by Paul Rudd near the end of 2021, Tina Fey returned as an anchor for Weekend Update for the first time since 2006, filling in for Colin Jost who was absent for the episode.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Mr. Bill, the adorable little Claymation man who always dies a horrible death.
    • The Colin Jost/Michael Che era of Weekend Update has Jost filling this role, thanks to Che frequently doing jokes that make Jost look bad as well as guests frequently causing him to suffer some kind of embarrassment, such as Jeanine Pirro vomiting wine on him.
  • Call-Back:
    • In the Don Rickles episode, the character he was playing chewed out Joe Piscopo for slapping him in an earlier sketch.
    • In the Kevin Hart episode there's a filmed Parody Commercial for the Z-Shirt. Hart's character asks "Is it an A-Shirt? Is it a B-Shirt?" etc., much to the annoyance of his on-air friend played by Tim Robinson. Later in the episode Robinson is playing a mourner at his mother's funeral who is saying a few words about the departed when Hart jumps in: "Is it an X-Shirt? Is it a Y-Shirt?"
    • The "Leslie Wants to Play Trump" sketch from Season 42's Alec Baldwin episode continues with the Leslie Jones/Kyle Mooney relationship from the "Love and Leslie" sketch in the Dave Chappelle episode earlier that season.
    • Natalie Portman's appearance in season 43 includes a followup to the popular "Natalie's Rap" from her previous appearance 12 years ago. Complete with surprise appearance by Andy Samberg!
    • Bobby Moynihan plays an overdramatic dancing cat from Cats in the Season 34 "Save Broadway" sketch, and in a Season 42 "Whiskers R We" sketch, he wears the same costume and keeps spinning (though in this case, he isn't an actual actor or cat, just a "crazy person").
    • Weekend Update in season 47 referenced the case of missing white women getting way more attention than others, with Ego Nwodim as a black woman who's been missing for 10 years. Apparently the media back then deliberately used a less flattering photo of her - which just happened to be Ego as a Tethered from a past sketch.
    • During the ending credits of Macaulay Culkin's hosting gig in Season 17, he and his brother Kieran were both lifted up in the air by the cast members. When Kieran hosted the show himself 30 years later, he was once again lifted up by the cast members when the credits started rolling.
  • Camera Abuse: Occurs in a several sketches (not always intentionally). During Jim Breuer's tenure, The Joe Pesci Show segments would always conclude with Joe or one of his guests confronting the cameraman and "breaking" the camera lens.
  • Cannot Convey Sarcasm: Angela Merkel, on one of the Weekend Updates, tries a little too hard.
    Jost: I have to ask: are you worried at all about the rise of nationalism in America and Europe?
    Merkel: (rolling eyes) NaaaaAAAOOooo! Nationalism in Europe? (snort) What could go wro-o-ong? (Beat) Sorry, that was ze first German attempt at sarcasm. I'll work on it.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Kristen Wiig as the Surprise Lady. She will resort to self harm.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • The recurring "talking posters" sketch headlined by Pete Davidson and guest Emma Stone involves posters with characters that are bootlegs of known ones, like Kenan and newcomer Ego Nwodim as not-Black Panther and Okoye.
    • Bowen Yang is actually Straight Gay, but gets saddled with Always Camp roles that combined with his nasal voice make him look like SNL's Ken Jeong.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment:
    • This skit that first aired during the January 27, 2018 show featured Will Ferrell as an office worker advertising a deodorant for men "who are feeling the heat because their time's up" (i.e. men who have been outed as harassers and abusers by the "Me Too" movement). As the fake commercial comes to a close, Ferrell's character marches into the office elevator with a bankers box (laden with a plant, a cup of pencils, and various other office paraphernalia) in his arms and announces that he's been fired.
      Office Woman: You're disgusting.
      Office Man: But my pits aren't!
      Office Man (to another elevator passenger): I got fired.
    • The following season covers the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Kate McKinnon as Jeff revealing that he already has a box prepared for it.
      "It's the same one I was born in!"
  • Casanova Wannabe: A good amount of recurring characters are sleazy men trying to get laid and failing. Some examples include: Chris Parnell's "Merv the Perv" (and his brother, Irv, played by episode host Johnny Knoxville), Christopher Walken's "The Continental" (mixed in with Handsome Lech), The Roxbury Guys (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan), and The Wild and Crazy Guys (Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin).
  • Casting Gag:
    • The cold open from the 2018 John Mulaney episode had Robert De Niro as Robert Mueller interrogating Ben Stiller as Michael Cohen in a take-off on their 2000 film Meet the Parents.
    • The first surprise guest of 2020 is Jon Lovitz in the role of Alan Dershowitz, who goes into a seizure and is briefly clinically dead, whereupon he goes to hell and meets Satan, who's played by Kate McKinnon here. It's also one of Jon's recurring roles during his tenure.
  • Cat-apult: The laser cats from... "Laser Cats" are a variant. While the cats aren't being launched, they are themselves guns.
  • Catchphrase: The most enduring one is, of course, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!", but it was the biggest single meme generator in the pre-Internet days of entertainment. Even today in the age of the Internet, it still generates memes and catchphrases and has adapted well to the era where most people find their humor online rather than on TV.
  • Celebrities Hang Out in Heaven: The Behind the Music on Rock and Roll Heaven. Val Kilmer even reprises his role as Jim Morrison in The Doors.
  • Celebrity Paradox: A lot of sketches have the celebrity host, musical guest, or special guest star meeting a cast member's take on that celebrity.
    • Jimmy Fallon playing Mick Jagger's reflection on the Hugh Jackman episode from Season 27.
    • The real Governor David Paterson confronted Fred Armisen's take on him in one sketch to speak out against the cheap shots about him being legally blind.
    • Steve Forbes participated in "Forbes on Forbes" (with Mark McKinney as Steve Forbes) whose lampshade was so thin it falls just short of Better than a Bare Bulb.
    • The short-lived but still funny "Joe Pesci Show" ended with the real Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro beating the snot out of Jim Breuer and Colin Quinn respectively for their parodies of them.
    • Another "Pesci" skit had Jim Carrey playing Jimmy Stewart, while Mark McKinney played … Jim Carrey. Sure enough, Jimmy Stewart was nothing but disgusted and irritated with Jim Carrey's antics.
    • The Miley Cyrus Show sketches where Miley Cyrus herself (the week's host) played Justin Bieber to Vanessa Bayer's Miley, then the episode with Bieber as host playing a Miley Cyrus fan club runner who takes potshots at Justin as he's being "interviewed" by Bayer as Miley. In a 2013 episode featuring Miley as host, filmed not long after her controversial performance at that year's MTV Video Music Awards, the episode would begin with a sketch where "old Miley" (played by Bayer) time travels backstage at the VMA's to warn Cyrus not to perform. The duo would sing a verse from "I Miss You" from Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus at the end of the sketch.
    • In a recurring Weekend Update segment called "In the Cage with Nicolas Cage", in which Nicolas Cage (Andy Samberg) discusses new movies with their stars, he ends up talking to... Nicolas Cage. This is explained as the result of Cloning Blues.
    • In the early '90's, the show sometimes imitated the political talk show The McLaughlin Group. For Halloween 1991, Dana Carvey as usual was playing John, when he gets "killed" and replaced by the real John McLaughlin.
    • In one musical performance in The '70s, John Belushi impersonated Joe Cocker singing "Feelin' Alright" next to the real Joe Cocker.
    • There was an early 90s sketch about former child starts gone wrong that featured, among others, David Spade as Michael J. Fox … and Michael J. Fox (who was the episode's host) as Danny Bonaduce.
    • The last time Will Ferrell played Alex Trebek on a "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketch as a regular cast member, the real Alex comes out and stands next to him.
    • For the "What Up With That?" sketches, one of the recurring guests is Bill Hader as Lindsey Buckingham. During one sketch, Paul Simon brings the real Lindsey Buckingham on set with him, to which the show host exclaims, "I didn't know there was TWO Lindsey Buckinghams!"
    • After Tina Fey returned to the show for what would be her famous portrayal of Sarah Palin, it didn't take long for the real Palin to appear alongside her in an episode … and Fey's 30 Rock co-star Alec Baldwin confuses Palin for Fey.note  There was also a previous example regarding Fey as Palin that wasn't the usual "celebrity appears next to his impersonator" when Fey's Palin appeared alongside Hillary Clinton (Amy Poehler); when Clinton starts to complain that she scratched and crawled for her political career while Palin being handpicked to be the Republican vice-presidential nominee instantly shot her into national stardom, she also scolds Palin being found charming with "your Tina Fey glasses!"
  • Classically-Trained Extra: One sketch about the making of an episode of Riverdale has Pete Davidson as a British thespian who's saddled with the role of cadaver in a morgue - and insists on not remaining still, either letting out weird whale sounds or just convulsing as the dead body is supposedly expelling gases at the time.
    Pete: I lived in a morgue for three months...
    Director: Why?!
  • Character as Himself: Featured cast member Don Novello would often be introduced in the opening as Father Guido Sarducci.
  • Characterizing Sitting Pose: In one sketch in season 1 episode 8 (host Candace Bergen), Chevy Chase plays an elf. During the sketch, he repeatedly crouches on a sofa and a table in an odd manner to show his elf nature. After his father is revealed to also be an elf, the father crouches on the couch too.
  • Church of Happyology: A Season 40 sketch parodied Scientology's 1990 "We Stand Tall" music video by producing a music video by the fictional church of Neurotology, which believes aliens live inside people's minds and charges $20,000 to scan people's minds. Said video was supposedly filmed in 1990, but has been updated to note how many of the people singing in the video have since left the church, gone missing, gone insane, died, or otherwise suffered under the church. Most audaciously, one of the members left Neurotology to join Scientology!
  • Clip Show: Because the positive COVID-19 cases within the show's cast and crew threw things for a loop, the Paul Rudd-hosted episode in Seson 47 was this. The only live sketch was the episode's edition on wekend Update, but with Tina Fey filling in for Colin Jost.
  • Cliffhanger: Season 11 ended with a sketch in which Yankees manager Billy Martin set fire to the studio while onscreen titles wondered which cast members would return. Originally, the cliffhanger was never going to be resolved, as NBC pushed Lorne Michaels to cancel SNL due to low ratings. When Lorne convinced the higher-ups that he can do better with a better cast (including some cast members from Season 11 who proved to be stand-outs in a mediocre season), the cliffhanger — and everything about Season 11 — was written off as a bad dream during the Season 12 premiere, parodying what Dallas did to undo an unpopular season just weeks before.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: When Celebrity Jeopardy! sketches are uploaded to the show's official YouTube account, all instances the "Think!" music are replaced with generic cues. It's especially grating during Final Jeopardy! due to Alex's commentary being silenced or jumbled.
  • Cold Open: Nearly every episode (including anniversary specials and clip shows) have these. Most are political (usually a special message from the U.S. President or a government official/leader from another country, or a special press conference as aired on a cable news network), some focus on recurring characters, few are one-shots that have to do with a current event, and a handful of them take place backstage before the show starts.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Jonah Hill episode in 2016 has one sketch about a murder mystery that basically homages Cluedo, with exactly six suspects, half male half female, all wearing different colors.
  • Comically Inept Healing: The sketches about "Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber'' (played by Steve Martin). He would order his patients to undergo bloodletting or some other medieval quackery, usually resulting in their disability or death.
  • The Comically Serious: Lorne Michaels' on-air personality is not only famous for how dry he acts, but also for the fact he has almost never lost his composure (he only did once, on the first time Hugh Laurie hosted on season 32, and that was because of a botched cue that happened off-screen).
  • Comically Small Bribe: In one early episode, Lorne Michaels came on to offer The Beatles a check for $3,000 to reunite on the show (a few episodes later, he offers to "sweeten the pot" to $3200). John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who both happened to be in New York that night and saw the bit on TV, nearly went down to the studio for a surprise visit. Turned into a Running Gag — whenever an ex-Beatles member later appeared on the show as a musical guest, they would usually be shown trying to extract the promised cash from Lorne. (George Harrison: "$750 is pretty chintzy.")
    Michaels: If you want to give Ringo less, it's up to you.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Parodied in the "Super Showcase" sketch, which starts off with the host (Bill Hader) saying that the contestant (Vanessa Bayer) answered "beef" before commercials, and reveals the right answer - "nine". We never learn just what the question could have been.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Numerous former cast members have returned to the show, either to host or to guest star in sketches.
  • Compensating for Something:
    • The "guy who just bought a boat" that Colin Jost interviews on a Weekend Update explicitly says between ridiculous Connecticut slang that he has a small penis.
    • Also from Weekend Update:
      Cecily: Plans were announced this week for the world's first Ferrari hotel to open in Spain in 2016, in the new FerrariLand theme park. It's the only theme park where your penis must be this small to ride the rides.
  • Competing Product Potshot:
  • Completely Off-Topic Report: Gilda Radner had two characters for whom this was their entire schtick, both commentators on "Weekend Update". One was Emily Litella, who, being hard of hearing as well as a bit naive, always misunderstood the topic she was supposed to be speaking about (too much violence on television, for instance) and ends up discussing a different topic (too much violins on television). When told of her mistake, she would the drop the topic entirely, ending with her Catchphrase "Never mind." The other character, Roseanne Roseannadana, would always veer from the original subject and into some embarrassing, graphically disgusting personal anecdote. When told what that had to do with the original topic, she responded with her own Catchphrase, "It's always something."
  • Continuity Nod: Bill Hader's Stefon character first appeared in 2008 in skit where he and his brother (played by Ben Affleck) try to pitch a movie. Fast forward to a 2013 Weekend Update sketch where Seth Meyers breaks up Stefon's marriage to Anderson Cooper and convinces Stefon to run away with him. Affleck returns as Stefon's brother encouraging him to follow his heart.
  • Continuity Porn: The 100th SNL Digital Short is wall-to-wall references from previous Digital Shorts.
  • Contraception Deception: Discussed. Back when Pete Davidson was dating Ariana Grande, he joked about replacing her birth control with sugar pills because he was so afraid she would leave him.
  • Contralto of Danger:
    • Kate McKinnon's voice can dance across several vocal registers including this, which also seems to be Cecily Strong's default voice. Both of them can sing too.
    • Leslie Jones can channel her naturally deep voice into this for the role of Oprah Winfrey.
  • Control Freak: Jimmy Fallon as Barry "Effing" Gibb, who is both this and a Hair-Trigger Temper who gets enraged at everything, including his guests. Well, except for his brother Robin.
  • Country Matters: The most glaring example to date would be Fred Armisen as British punk rocker Ian Rubbish, responsible for the rebellious punk hit "C**t in a Crown".
  • Covered in Gunge: Considering that everyone has to get cleaned up by the next sketch, they do this way too often.
    • The episode with Charlize Theron had a spoof of 60s beach movies, Bikini Beach Party, which involved a beached whale that's slowly inflating with methane gas. No prizes for guessing what happens to the two "teens" hoping to use it as Makeout Point.
    • The game show "Just Desserts" is blatantly rigged to ensure that every Pie in the Face goes into just one person's face - Melissa McCarthy.
    • James Franco in the "Gift Wrapping" sketch not only 'cuts' himself way too many times, but gushes gallons of fake blood all over Leslie Jones.
    • One sketch in 2022 was about how the use of slime on Nickelodeon (via You Can't Do That on Television) got started, so obviously this was going to happen eventually - after showing how failed versions of sliming went, from huge green lumps being dropped on the actors to shotgun blasts of slime in their faces.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The point of the Tom Brokaw pre-tapes sketch. Brokaw is recording death notices for President Gerald Ford for every possible cause of death, including zombie Richard Nixon strangling him!
  • Creepy Uncle: Buck Henry's "Uncle Roy" character from the earliest seasons.
  • Crossover: A minor case with the season 39 premiere, which starts with Barack Obama bringing in some civilians to better explain Obamacare - one of them is unannounced Special Guest Aaron Paul, fully in character as Jesse Pinkman, explaining how the lack of Obamacare led to the very premise of Breaking Bad.
  • Cue Card Pause:
    • Recurring Character Tim Calhoun, a senator who runs for president. He's got his speeches on index cards but for some reason only part of a sentence is on a given card. For example (during the Mark Foley sex scandal, where Foley had sent sexually explicit text messages to underage congressional pages):
      Tim Calhoun: I have touched many pages in my life... because I am a voracious reader... of child pornography... studies. Illustrated studies.
    • During Weekend Updates in the Colin Jose/Michael Che era, they've had "Supercentenarian Mort Fallen" (Mikey Day) on as a guest. He reads what sounds like upbeat news about what his cohorts are up to, only to turn it into bad news, usually about the person's death.
      Colin: Are there any headlines you got there about living supercentenarians?
      Mort: Oh yeah. Lifelong bachelor 111-year-old Mel Thomas became the country's oldest newlywed last week when he married 99-year-old Ethel Birmingham...
      Colin: Cradle-robber, right?
      Mort: ...on her deathbed.
      Colin: Don't pause.
  • Curse Cut Short: When Seann William Scott hosted, the host on stage sketchwas talking about the semen in the beer joke in American Pie. He claims to have a lot of family who have been actors and all the sketches are based on the same joke. One of the pieces is a silent movie where Horatio Sanz's character ruined the beer. Seann dry heaves and clearly mouths "motherfu-" before a word card claims he's saying "darn you!"
  • Curtain Call: Each individual episode ends like a theatre show with the entire cast and any guest stars (and musicians in the guest band) gathering on the stage, with the ending theme music playing.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Invoked with Adam Driver as malevolant oil baron Abraham H Parnassus, who claims he was born premature in a time period where medical technology simply couldn't deal with it, and his treatment involved putting him in a steel pot until he was old enough to crawl out, and despite living to a ripe old age, needs a cane. Worth noting is that Adam's best known role is a Sith Lord, and grandson of the Trope Codifier.
  • Dark Parody:
    • In "You're a Champion, Charlie Brown", after Charlie Brown falls on his back as usual, he gets seriously injured on his head and dies. All Linus and Franklin can do is despair and yell at Lucy that it's her fault.
    • In "Clark Kent", Superman is so incompetent that everyone else in the Daily Planet is so sick of having him around that they convince him to (accidentally) kill someone by pretending the person was a super-villain so he'd go to jail and be out of the way.
    • From the tail end of 2020 comes "Stu", a parody of [[Music/{{Enimen}] "Stan"]] that somehow manages to get even darker than the source material with a Cruel Twist Ending. The long-suffering wife played by Dido originally (and Kate McKinnon here) had managed to secure a PS5 well ahead of time as a surprise gift, but the rest of the video plays out just like the original, up to Stu driving in the rain (but on a fifth of eggnog instead of vodka).
  • Darker and Edgier: Parodied in "Grouch", a movie trailer for a Joker-style origin in which a well-meaning garbageman (David Harbour) is gradually driven by the depravities of Sesame Street to become Oscar the Grouch.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • In the first TV Funhouse "Anatominals" short, Lorne Michaels views the skit and is disgusted what the show has sunk to, and calls up Satan to get out of his contract of keeping the show running if he gets his soul. After getting a glimpse of what Lorne's life would be like without SNL (he provides foreign aid), he rescinds his offer and lets Satan keep his soul after all.
    • A People's Court parody had a hairdresser take the devil (Jon Lovitz) to court for violating their contract.
    • One sketch centers around a struggling musician (Garth Brooks) agreeing to sell his soul to the devil (Will Ferrell) in exchange for a hit song that will make him a star. However, it quickly turns out the devil has no musical talent whatsoever so the musician backs out of the deal.
    • When Jason Sudeikis hosted in Season 47, he reprised his Devil character on Weekend Update and revealed that Colin Jost made a deal with him to marry Scarlett Johansson.
  • Deconstructive Parody:
    • Most of their TV show or movie parodies rip apart the logistics behind certain plotholes, tropes (as in "cliched plot devices," some of which can be found on this website), and character traits. Case in point: The Avengers sketch, with Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. The parody centered on why an archer who doesn't have any superpowers would need to be in a superhero group (especially one that has a super soldier, a radioactive monster, and a Norse god) and what would happen if he ran out of ammo.
    • The recurring sketch "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood" was one for "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" by taking the latter show's format and placing it in a crime ridden inner city neighborhood rather than small town suburbia.
    • The "You're A Champion, Charlie Brown" sketch from the Season 24 episode hosted by Brendan Fraser gives a realistic and depressing spin on the old "Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown" gag, in that Charlie Brown ends up with a severe head wound and the sketch ends with Lucy, Linus, and Franklin sobbing as Charlie Brown lays dying.
    • "Friendos" from season 43 deconstructs the Boastful Rap, with Kenan, Chris Redd and Special Guest Donald Glover as a send-up of Migos, who have been trying to out-pimp each other for so long that they have to attend group therapy.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Kate McKinnon as Debette Goldry, a now-geriatric screen diva from the 1940s, recounts her experiences in the era of filmmaking from before political correctness, which are much more jarring than she makes them sound. Basically it sounds like women on the set were little more than glamorised sex slaves, aand categorised under Inventory.
    • The Chadwick Boseman episode features him portraying King T'Challa competing on "Black Jeopardy" and highlighting the cultural and life differences between Wakandans and African-Americans.
      Darnell: You send your smart-ass child here ’cause she think she grown
      T'Challa: What is to one of our free universities where she can apply her intelligence, and perhaps one day become a great scientist.
      Darnell: Okay. Well, the answer we was looking for was “out my damn house.” But you know what, I’m going to give it to you, T’Challa. Y’all must have no mean streets in Wakanda.
    • Zigzagged in the Eddie Murphy episode, where Eddie resurrected a whole string of his past characters (over 30 years ago!), showing how they don't really line up with today's values anymore - until it's revealed that Mr Robinson's neighborhood has changed without him, and even Chivalrous Pervert Velvet Jones has taken a different approach to his usual self-help books for unabashed sluts (just updating the packaging really).
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • George Coe, who was in his mid-forties, was hired to be one of the original Not Ready For Primetime Players in 1975, and was billed along with the rest of them. The idea was for him to play the "older male" part in sketches, but that was deemed to be unnecessary and Coe was dropped from the regular cast after only three episodes. However, he continued to get occasional guest parts through 1976.
    • Yvonne Hudson was the first black woman to be an SNL cast member, though she was credited as a featured player. (A black female repertory player wouldn't be seen until Danitra Vance was hired in 1985, and even still, it would be a while before SNL would have a black female cast member who lasted more than a season [Ellen Cleghorne] and who became popular outside of SNL [Maya Rudolph and, hopefully, Sasheer Zamatanote ].) Sadly, it was during the disastrous 1980-81 season. She was fired along with everyone in that cast except for Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy, but she continued to appear as an extra periodically through 1984 and has faded to obscurity. Not even hardcore SNL fans know what happened to her, except for the fact that she's still alive somewhere.
    • Happened to David Spade during Season 21. Lorne Michaels kept him on the show after firing most of the Season 20 cast and writers so there would be some consistency as the new cast members and writers settled in. However, Spade's screen time was drastically reduced and he made few appearances outside of his regular "Spade in America" segment. He would leave the show after the season once the new group became acclimated.
    • Michael Patrick O'Brien was a cast member during the 39th season (along with then-newcomers Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Brooks Wheelan, John Milhiser, and Noel Wells, with Sasheer Zamata and Colin Jost added later). When Lorne Michaels made extensive changes to this overloaded cast, Milhiser, Wells, and Wheelan were fired, Bennett, Mooney, Zamata, and Jost were kept on as cast members, and Mike O'Brien (as he's credited) went back to work as a writer (with occasional appearances in his short films and in sketches that have large crowds and audiences).
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Mr. Hands in the Mr. Bill Show. Also, everyone on "Happy Smile Patrol" and Mr. Robinson (Eddie Murphy) on "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood".
  • Destination Defenestration: After smashing a chair on Chris Parnell's head 12 years ago, Natalie Portman returns to one-up it by flinging Beck Bennett through a window. At least it was on the ground floor. And that backdrop probably softened the impact a little.
  • Didn't See That Coming: In one of the "High School Theatre" sketches, at one point one of the female students (played by Elizabeth Banks) demands that one of the parents in the audience guess what gender she is. The performers are clearly trying to make a point about transgenderism, fluidity and preconceived notions of gender — but the parent, having long ago clocked exactly what kind of show this is and having seen the intended point coming a mile off, calmly guesses that she's actually a boy. Having clearly not anticipated this response, the girl is forced to pathetically ask the parent to change his answer to "girl"; sure enough, upon his doing so, she smugly declares "Wrong! I'm a boy!"
  • Dissimile: According to Anna Kendrick, "each dong is like a snowflake... except that it's a dong".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Some of SNL's sketches play this for humor. The infamous "Schweddy Balls" sketch, the "Colonel Angus" and "Cork Soakers" sketches are some famous examples. The "Ambiguously Gay Duo" was basically this trope personified.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: One recurring sketch is about aspiring online star Janelle (Sasheer Zamata) who ropes in her good friend Teddy (Kyle Mooney) when making her online dance tutorials. Teddy's clearly got the whole Rory thing going for him, content to just sit in the back and watch... and maybe borrow one of her pillows at certain times.
    Dad (Chris Rock): What have I told you about bringing boys into your room?!
    Janelle: He's not a boy, he's just Teddy!
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Ed Grimley would often say, "I'm as doomed as doomed can be."
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • The Tiger Woods press conference sketch on the episode hosted by Blake Lively (who played Tiger Woods' ex-wife Elin Nordegren). Coincidentally, the musical guest for that episode (Rihanna) is the same Rihanna who was beaten up by her now ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown (who would later be the musical guest for the season 36 episode hosted by Russell Brand.
    • The many sketches where Fred Armisen plays a character who ends up getting beaten by a woman (the Annuale commercial from season 33 had him getting kicked in the groin and punched in the face by Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig punched Fred during the mosh pit riot on the "Death Metal The Golden Girls Theme" SNL Digital Short, and the "Flags of the World" Digital Short had Nasim Pedrad hit Fred in the head with a "Girlfriend on the Rag Flag.")
    • In his one season on the show, Chris Elliott appeared in a sketch that was about a rape prevention class. Elliott's character is the "rapist" in the sketch, and the women students take turns kicking him in the nuts.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Played for laughs in the "Teacher Trial" sketches which involve a teacher (Cecily Strong) on trial for having a sexual relationship with her student (Pete Davidson), who clearly enjoyed the encounter. The boy's father, friends, classmates, and everyone at the trial, especially the judge, is impressed with the boy for pulling it off. The only one who's disgusted is his mother, who was the one who pressed charges in the first place.
  • Drives Like Crazy: A rather notable example with Toonces, a cat who somehow is able to drive. It always ends with him and his passengers going off a cliff.
    • "Hitchhiker", an earlier segment from Season 8 features a young man getting picked up by a woman with a voracious sexual appetite all while she's driving. Predictibly, they also end up going over a cliff the moment she climaxes (the very same footage of the car going over the cliff would be recycled into the Toonces sketches).
  • Driving Stick: A sketch from Season 47 parodied heist films with a scenario of a heist team boosting an expensive Lamborghini. The wheelman was stymied by the car's manual transmission.
  • Drop the Cow: Zigzagged. Some seasons (and episodes within seasons) will have overly long sketches; others will have sketches that know when to stop (or come up too short).
  • Dumb Blonde: All of the characters in "The Californians" (with the exception of the housekeeper and supposed Token Minority played by Vanessa Bayer) are mandatorily blonde (including the actual token minority played by Kenan Thompson). They also have the collective IQ of Bill Hader's toolbelt.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A handful of cast members appeared on the show before they became full-fledged cast members (featured and repertory). Among them:
    • Denny Dillon: Performed a stand-up routine on the Rob Reiner episode (season 1). Despite unsuccessfully auditioning for the show in 1975, Dillon was chosen for the 1980-81 cast.
    • Ann Risley: Had a small speaking role in a pre-taped sketch called "Mobile Shrink" during season 2's Dick Cavett episode. Like Denny Dillon, Ann would be chosen for the 1980-81 cast.
    • Yvonne Hudson: Before she became a credited featured player during the 1980-81 season, Yvonne often appeared in season 4 and 5 sketches that needed a black actress note . Her most prominent role was during season 5, as a co-host (with Garrett Morris) of the talk show "Bad Clams," where a pair of black talk show hosts feed Lucille Ball (Gilda Radner) bad clams until she gets sick.
    • Terry Sweeney: Originally hired as a writer for the 1980-81 season, five years before he was hired as a castmember by Lorne Michaels. He makes one on-screen appearance that season, in the cold opening of the Sally Kellerman/Jimmy Cliff episode where Ronald Reagan (played by Charles Rocket) celebrates his 70th birthday.
    • Rob Riggle: Appeared on the Donald Trump/Toots and the Maytals episode (from season 29) in a pretaped commercial parody called Fear Factor Junior. Riggle played the father of a child who had to eat the maggots off a plate of eggs Benedict or risk watching his parents divorce.
    • Tina Fey: Back when she was the first female head writer of SNL note , Fey appeared in some sketches as an uncredited extra and even had a celebrity impersonation (Kathleen Willey) before she became a cast member/Weekend Update anchor in Season 26.
    • Jason Sudeikis: Had a lot of bit roles in seasons 29 and 30 (the years when he was a writer) until he was hired as a cast member near the end of Season 30.
    • Billy Crystal: As mentioned in the intro, Billy Crystal is one of two cast members who hosted the show before being hired (the other being Michael McKean). Crystal was originally supposed to be a guest performer on the 1975 premiere, but was passed up in favor of Andy Kaufman.
    • Phil Hartman: On the Season 11 episode hosted by Pee-Wee Herman, Hartman made an uncredited appearance as a Pilgrim in the "Pee-Wee Herman Thanksgiving Special" sketch (which he also wrote). A year later, Hartman would be part of the cast that would make SNL fans forget about Season 11's informed lousiness and launch a second Golden Age for the show.
    • Leslie Jones: Before becoming a cast member in Season 40, Jones was a writer who made a controversial appearance on "Weekend Update" the previous season.
    • Bowen Yang: another writer who got a cameo as Kim Jong Un in season 44 before getting added to the lineup one year later.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • When Saturday Night Live premiered (as NBC's Saturday Night), it was much more of a Variety Show, despite that Lorne Michaels wanted the show to be a subverted version of the kind of variety shows they had back in the late 1960s into the 1970s. The first few episodes had multiple musical guests and other performers (Andy Kaufman the most notable of these), with the Not Ready For Prime Time Players only one part of the larger whole. The second episode (October 18, 1975) had no sketch comedy at all other than Weekend Update; the whole rest of the show was given to host/musical guest Paul Simon and other musical acts. Before the first season was finished, the sketch comedy part of the show came to dominate — thanks, in no small part, to the episode hosted by Richard Pryor, which also established SNL as the comedy that wasn't afraid of tackling edgy issues with humor.
    • With few exceptions, Chevy Chase opened each episode with his signature pratfall and then announced the show. The only exceptions were the first episode, in which he didn't fall, the Richard Pryor episode, in which Garrett Morris imitated Chase's fall and opening, and the Ron Nessen episode, in which President Ford himself (on tape) delivered the opening after Chase's fall. After Chase left the show, the fall left with him and now anyone could announce the show.
    • The infamous sixth season (1980-81) included a specific case of Real Life Early Installment Weirdness in the form of cast member Gilbert Gottfried. Watch clips of Gottfried from that season and you will see that he doesn't squint, has a full head of black hair, and (most jarring of all) didn't have his trademark loud, obnoxious voice (it does crop up sometimes, but mostly Gottfried was soft-spoken).
    • When The Blues Brothers made their debut on January 17, 1976, they were dressed as bees (the "Killer Bees" were a recurring first season sketch).
    • During the first few years, it wasn't uncommon for the same person to host more than one episode a season. It still happened occasionally during the Dick Ebersol era, but stopped after Lorne Michaels returned to the show in 1985.
    • In the first "Celebrity Jeopardy" skit, Sean Connery doesn't insult Alex Trebek like he does in future skits; he doesn't even use a single Double Entendre or Your Mom insult. The closest he comes to his future characterization is mistaking the category "S words" for swords. He also didn't appear in the following two skits, only becoming a regular character in the fourth one. The first sketch also featured categories and questions that would actually be plausible for a real game of Jeopardy!. In later sketches, it's a joke that the game has been dumbed down to the point of absurdity, and the celebrities still can't handle it.
    • The first "Bill Swerski's Superfans" skit actually had Bill Swerski (Joe Mantegna) appear as the host, none of the characters suffered from their later trademark heart attacks, and the absurdity of the group's predictions was lampshaded when an oddsmaker (Kevin Nealon) tells them that a game between Mike Ditka by himself and the New York Giants would be a blowout in favor of the Giants.
    • The titular couple in "The Couple That Should Be Divorced" were originally identified as "Sally and Dan Harrison" before their names were changed to "The Needlers". Interestingly, the skits as the Needlers indicate that their first names are still Sally and Dan.
    • For a couple months, the show portrayed Kellyanne Conway as a guilt-ridden broken shell over her role in Donald Trump becoming president. After it became clear that she wasn't going away any time soon, was still an avid Trump supporter, and was going to have a role in the then-upcoming Trump administratin, they switched gears as announced with a spoof of "Roxie" from Chicago the day after the inauguration.
    • The show changed its portrayal of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drastically over the course of the campaign. In early skits Trump, while still portrayed as a bully, was established as fairly intelligent and a Deadpan Snarker, before evolving into Stupid Evil. Clinton, on the other hand, started out as power hungry with No Social Skills, before becoming the Only Sane Man in the face of Trump's lunacy.
  • Ear Worm: "Party at My Parents' House". One of the Union soldiers (Jimmy Fallon) feels the traditional tune they're singing isn't interesting enough and interrupts with lyrics about a teen party. Soon, everyone's singing it.
    Fallon: Sorry, I added it. I felt like it needed a fat, catchy hook that people can sing along with. It's good, right?
    Mikey Day: Yeah, I mean it's already stuck in my head!
    Alex Moffat: [nods enthusiastically]
  • Easter Episode: In one sketch, Hanukkah Harry and the Prophet Elijah end up saving Easter when the Easter Bunny gets sick, much like Harry did in "The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Christmas."
  • Electrified Bathtub: In the Season 46 Maya Rudolph episode, Maya struggles to remember her time on SNL due to all the times she's dropped her toaster into the bath. "What can I say? I like hot baths and I like hot toast."
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Gilda Radner plays this up with Baba Wawa, her parody of Boston-bred newswoman Barbara Walters.
  • Erotic Asphyxiation: Concerning the death of Jeffrey Epstein in prison, "everyone"'s conspiracy theories about various parties who must've been behind it are said to be put forward as "anything but" what Michael Che considers the "obvious" answer of... breaking his own neck while trying to get off on choking himself.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: One of the Bill Brasky sketches has a barfly state that "The character of Johnny Appleseed was based on Brasky." This may not be intentional, since Johnny Appleseed is so mythologized that it'd be easy even in real life to assume he's just a fictional folk hero.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Pete Davidson had this with his very first appearance on Weekend Update in 2014, in which he established his casual, tolerant, millennial persona by cheerfully admitting that he would go down on a guy for a million dollars, and justified this (as a straight man) in terms of simple economics:
    Michael Che: So you're saying you would go down on a guy for a million dollars?
    Pete Davidson: Of course I would! A million dollars is a steal! I hope he starts at a million. I would do for, like, three thousand, if I had to be honest with myself. [...] People would be like "Pete! You must be gay!" And I'm like, "No, I'm a businessman, okay?" Look, if you're gay it's fine. Me and my friends are just trying to make money. If you won't go down on a guy for a million dollars, you obviously don't care about your family. When I was in high school three years ago, my opinion was different. Whenever I played that game, and my friends asked me if I'd go down on a guy for a million dollars, I'd be like "No. Gross." And I meant that, because times were different. I lived with my mom, at the time, you know? I had food, clothes, I had a TV in my room, I didn't need to go down on a guy. My mom was already doing that. But now I live on my own, you know, so I think two times a year is an acceptable amount of times to go down on a guy. It makes complete sense. Once in the summer, so you have a great summer, you go to Six Flags and bring your entire family, get the flash pass, and once right before Christmas so the whole family eats. I actually think that's quite noble. Just think of how proud you'll be at Thanksgiving dinner when your grandpa's saying grace, and he's like "We'd like to thank Pete's mouth for this wonderful feast." Some people would be like "Hey Pete, won't you have to go to therapy?" And I'm like "Yeah! But guess who can afford therapy now." [smirks]
  • Establishing Shot: Most sketches that don't have a theme song use one (and sometimes show the same establishing shot at the end of sketch as well).
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Season 42's finale has a mad scientist competition competing for most evil invention in the world. Host Dwayne Johnson's character, Roy, enters the contest with a child-molesting robot, which disgusts everyone else there.
      Baroness Antarctica: (outraged) Oh, my god!
      Roy: What's wrong?
      Baroness Antarctica: "What's wrong"?! My most evil idea was a blizzard in July!
      Roy: Right. Well, I went in a slightly different direction with the assignment.
    • The Celebrity Jeopardy! 40th Anniversary special has a Video Daily Double about Bill Cosby making a mixed drink. Sean Connery, who terrorizes Trebek with one-liners about his sexuality and Your Mom jokes, is disgusted by it.
      Sean Connery: That was BAD, Trebek!
    • Whenever Jason Sudeikis's Devil shows up on Weekend Update, there is at least one thing that disgusts him, such as the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
  • Even the Girls Want Her:
  • Everyone Has Standards: During the "Best Buy Firing" sketch, Beth is called a flaming trash-pile by Dana and Niff, but she thanks them for not making fun of her adult braces.
    Niff: C'mon Beth, I mean, we're not monsters.
  • Exotic Equipment:
    • Season 43. Natalie Portman reveals that Jar Jar Binks has 17 dicks.
    • All but stated by name in a sketch with Donald Glover as young Lando Calrissian.
      I love the surprise when the clothes come off, and I'm like "oh, that's your that?"
  • Extra Digits: A parody commercial advertising a finger removal cream for people with extra fingers.
  • Eye Scream: Weekend Update Summer Edition brings back Cecily as Carol Anne, who claims that staring into the eclipse of 2017 the week before left her right eye blind. The other one's okay because "it's glass."
  • Eyelash Fluttering: The skit "The Lawyer" from season 42 stars host Louis C.K. as a lawyer with surprisingly big eyelashes who uses his unlikely attribute to charm his way out of a case by fluttering his lashes at everyone he talks to.
  • Fairy Godmother: The Wishin' Boot, subject of a country song, brings things to a person in their time of need. Given that it appears to be sentient and it has an evil twin, it borders on Crystal Dragon Jesus.
  • Fake Guest Star: Beginning in Season 42, Alec Baldwin has being impersonating Donald Trump in nearly every episode despite not being an official cast member.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: A parody commercial was about avoiding this trope by using a pubic hair transplant instead.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The Love-ahs, a middle-aged couple played by Rachel Dratch and Will Ferrell, regularly disturb other characters and the viewer with public displays of affection, which may include plates of spiced meat, and explicit purple-prose-laden details about their...lovemaking.
    • Kristen Wiig's character Shana was a buxom, breathy-voiced Expy of Marilyn Monroe, whose appearance at a party would be hotly anticipated by all the male characters, who would ignore the only other female character. When Shana showed up, she would behave like a stereotypical Brainless Beauty, except that she would invariably start to behave in shatteringly unsexy ways (delivering an incredibly long belch or fart, accidentally defecating, telling a story about how she went ducking for apples but mistakenly ate cow manure instead). All of the men except one would be completely turned off.
    • During Season 42, Margot Robbie plays a hot librarian that students are lusting after... until she starts doing horrific things like letting her hair fall out, taking out her teeth, showing embarrassing tattoos, and murdering a woman.
    • Resident hottie Cecily Strong gets to dress up as Princess Jasmine in "recreation" of the iconic magic carpet flight... and then she starts getting hit by stuff.
    • Cecily parodies the online appearance of judge Jeannine Pirro, which went memetic because she was clearly drunk at the time, but goes a few steps further with the Zoom signal getting messed up and Cecily going through unannounced costume changes, looking increasingly skimpy as well - except it's still Jeannine Pirro going further Off the Rails.
  • Fanservice:
    • The Kellyanne Conway musical number parodying "Roxie" from Chicago has Kate McKinnon singing in a short flapper dress and playing up the Blonde Republican Sex Kitten act.
    • Cecily Strong as tech savvy shopper Jill Davenport appears on Weekend Update, then skips clear over that subject by flirting with Colin Jost, taking off her jacket and everything.
      "Oh my god you can totally see down my shirt and everything..."
    • One sketch from the John Cena episode is about Aidy Bryant as a bookstore employee who briefly shows her bra. Then again, she's with John Cena.
    • One episode hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had them showing their "Dope Squad" (in a parody of the music video of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood"), and much like the music video, the sketch featured them in a lot of Costume Porn. One such outfit was what could be best described as a mink coat that flashed their fishnet-covered legs. Tina also gets to pose with a long gun, while also showcasing her legs.
    • Nasim Pedrad as Kim Kardashian had the frame-fitting fashion and The Tease attitude of the original down to a T. Pretty much every sketch involving Pedrad's Kardashian uploaded on YouTube will have a comment saying something to the tune that she looks just as sexy as the original, if not more.
    • The Ronda Rousey episode has a spoof of those "Bachelor" shows, with Ronda and all the SNL ladies in dresses showing at least some cleavage. Even musical guest Selena Gomez joins in with a Cleavage Window dress!
    • Lindsay Lohan's first episode hosting features a Harry Potter sketch in which all the male Hogwarts students are stunned at how hot Hermione got during the summer. Lohan wears a low-cut sweater and at one point uses a giant magnifying glass positioned just right for the cameras.
    • Sarah Michelle Gellar's second episode hosting features a pre-recorded commercial parody sketch for Holding Your Own Boobs Magazine. Gellar is shown topless, using only her hands to cover her breasts, as she does an infomercial-style pitch for the magazine.
  • Feedback Rule: Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer's recurring sketch about middle school music teachers Marty Culp & Bobbie Moyhan-Culp, who are there to do a gig by playing popular music in a classical style, always begins with mic feedback. "Ooh, we got a real hot mic here."
  • Foot Focus: When Jason Momoa hosted in 2018, the camera made sure to frame out to show he deliberately went barefoot during the monologue and again at curtain call.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Season 44. Host John Mulaney plays the one white guy at a predominantly African-American wedding reception that gets dragged into a complex dance routine, and for some reason when the DJ calls out for everyone to take out their church fans, John somehow has one already. Turns out he already knows some of the folks here, including one from church.
  • Formerly Fat: All the testimonials of the "Ride the Snake" weight loss method, but Jimmy Tango (presently with the build of Jim Carrey) more than anyone, whose hysterical paeans to his own radical weight-loss method seem to stem from days when people would "stuff a letter into my mouth" if he wore a blue suit and yawned.
  • Frazetta Man: The "Bioflex" commercial introduces a home workout system, consisting of a vicious genetically-engineered apeman that the hapless customer is forced to fight (read: get beaten senseless by).
  • From Bad to Worse: The Chucky Lee Bird 'Greatest Hits' album infomercial where the singer seems to be doing innocuous '50s-style rock and roll love songs but then each subsequent song played reduces the age of the various females that Chucky is singing about from 17 through 12. Then the summary of tracks listed mix in sexual predator behavior (with the song titles implying that the singer openly knows his pedophilia behavior is illegal and wrong) along with a love song that describes love for an 11 year old. Then it gets bad for the male host where not only he admits that the singer is the host's grandfather (and tries to use that as an excuse to keep the infomercial going), but also revealing that Chucky Lee Bird actually made these pedophila songs in the 1980s (possibly implying he's still alive and getting residuals for his pedophilia songs, and is not in prison) when the behavior should have been noticed and reported.
  • From the Mouths of Babes:
    • Weekend Update guest and child actor Lauren Parsons will talk about the news she's been hearing from grown-ups... who probably should have watched what they said around minors, even if they look as old as Vanessa Bayer.
      Michael Che: "Do you even know what 'sexual harassment' means?"
      Lauren: "Oh yes. [...] (Donald Trump) told the stewardess she looked nice... And then put both hands up her skirt!"
    • One season 43 Cold Open pulls this off with actual kids, all of whom have been educated by their parents on current events a little too thoroughly.
  • Fun-Hating Confiscating Adult: Cheri Oteri's recurring character Rita DelVecchio, who would tell kids "I keep it now! It's mine now!" when their football/novelty flying disc/etc. would land on her lawn or porch.
  • Funny Background Event: "Basketball Scene" has two supporting actors trying to play basketball and ruining takes in the background while the stars talk in the foreground.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Al Sharpton (played by Kenan) is under the impression that Japan has a KKK - Karate, Karaoke and Kaiju. Then again this is a guy who keeps pronouncing MSNBC "Ms. NBC - NBC for women, I guess."
    • There's a parody commercial about a cheaper alternative to Angie's List (kind of an online Yellow Pages where you find handymen) called Aron's List... then it's revealed that it stands for American Registry Of Non-violent Sex-Offendors.
      Vanessa: What about janitors?
      Bobby: (creepy smile) There are literally thousands of us!
      Vanessa: Even dog walkers?
      Jay: (Kubrick Stare on) I'll do it.
    • The Charles Barkley episode from Season 43 has him selling a product called Ned's Roach Away, which exterminates bad roaches by using good roaches carrying tiny AR-15s.
  • Gag Dub: One Cold Open has Jay-Z (Jay Pharoah) and Solange Knowles (Sasheer Zamata) explaining what the CCTV footage of them getting into a fight was really about, by layering the "actual audio" over it.
    Solange: Oh my god there's a spider on you!
  • Gallows Humor: Immortalized in the first episode following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York. Mayor Rudolph Guiliani said in a press conference that one of the first orders of business was to get Saturday Night Live back on the air, he appeared in person along with actual members of the relief team clearing away debris and rescuing stranded individuals, explaining how the show was a New York institution and continuing business as usual is the best way to keep the terrorists from winning. Lorne Michaels queried, "But can we be funny?" and his reply was "Why start now?"
  • Game Show Goofballs: Game shows featuring less-than-brilliant contestants have often been a cource for comedy during SNL's long run.
    • The best-known example is the recurring "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketch where an exasperated Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell) has to regularly contend with celebrity contestants who are either blissfully ignorant, self-absorbed, or—in the case of Sean Connery (Darrell Hammond)—belligerent and antagonistic. The categories start off normal, but quickly turn into childish and blatantly easy stuff like "Colors That End In 'Urple'" and "Drummers Named 'Ringo'", and categories with no clues whatsoever like "Automatic Points" and "I Have a Chardonnay" (the latter additionally allowing Trebek to have a glass of wine).
    • In "Should You Chime In On This?", the contestants are uninformed loudmouths who are asked to refrain from adding their opinions on a given topic. Despite the promise of prize money, they prove themselves incapable of keeping their thoughts to themselves.
      Host: We bring out three idiots and give them hot button-issues, and ask them, "should you chime in on this?" The answer should always be "no".
    • "Where'd Your Money Go?" is a game show where professional athletes, "the world's most ignorant millionaires", are asked if they should pursue a series of ludicrous financial ventures. Once again, the host spells out that the answer should always be "no" - and once again he is completely ignored by the contestants.
    • The recurring sketch "What's Wrong With This Picture?" brings some very strange, sometimes perverse contestants on to find a logical problem with a cartoon image. The puzzles are easy enough for a child to solve, but the contestants completely misunderstand the exercise. (The first sketch justifies the poor choice of contestants by noting they were the only ones available "at 2 P.M. on a weekday.") For example, an image depicts a woman looking in a mirror, with the obvious mistake being that she wears a belt and her reflection does not. The contestants' guesses for what's wrong with the picture include "She's four years old and the boobies grew too fast," "Her twin's in that fish tank and she can't get out," and "She just did blackface and got away with it."
  • Gasshole:
    • One sketch has Alec Baldwin as a high school coach pushing Mikey Day to break the class sit-up record... which inadvertently leads to toots and parps with every rep, ending with a long drawn out peep.
    • One sketch set in the golden age of Hollywood has Vanessa Bayer as a screen diva struggling to do one scene despite her own uncontrollable tooting and parping (there's even a squelch). The scene ends with Special Guest Dwayne Johnson holding her in a tight embrace (heavily implied to be squeezing out the last of it!)
    • In the 2009 January Jones episode, Grace Kelly (Jones) can't stop farting while shooting Rear Window.
    • In the 1993 Kevin Kline episode, Kline plays an Italian actor who repeatedly farts while wooing an American tourist.
  • Genius Bruiser: Dwayne Johnson's recurring character Koko Watchout, a wrestler who may have missed the point of wrestling - instead of trashing his longtime opponent Trashyard Mutt (Bobby Moynihan) in the ring, he opts for overly elaborate plots and schemes to destroy Mutt's personal life at a level approaching Gaslighting.
  • Germanic Depressives: When Angela Merkel comes on Weekend Update, her dialogue is heavy on this.
    Angela Merkel: (regarding getting TIME Magazine's 2015 Person of the Year and making a lot of goofy faces) I am trying to celebrate, but my body is rejecting it.
  • Gorn: "The Duel", from the episode with Sandra Oh, is about two 19th century gentlemen about to duel with pistols for the favor of Sandra - until the guns keep misfiring, going wide, ricocheting and tearing through Sandra, who maintains a calm front even as the pellets blast her fingers off and rip through her shinbones!
  • Got Me Doing It: On the first Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch, this happens to Alex Trebek after getting so exasperated with Sean Connery and Burt Reynolds referring to the "'S' Words" category as "Swords".
    Alex: We're not doing "Swords"!
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Done in a sketch where the Wishmakers Foundation grants a child's desire to be a sports commentator at a professional game (football the first game, basketball the 2nd). The only football term he knows is "That'll move the chains!" and basketball, "Nothing but the bottom of the net!" This eventually gets taken to a hilarious extreme when the other commentators lets him take over to make up for complaining about the supposed disease (the kid said he had O.C.D. when asked, but this really stood for "Overwhelming Corpse Disease") and eventually begins shouting various sports terms and maneuvers all in the same sentence ending with "NOTHING BUT THE BOTTOM OF THE NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!" and then dies onscreen.
  • Groin Attack: "By the Balls", a sketch where Katie Holmes repeatedly grabs Will Ferrell's crotch to interrogate him.
  • Gunman with Three Names:

     Tropes H–M 
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: How Barry Gibb (played by Jimmy Fallon) is portrayed in "The Barry Gibb Talk Show". One such example:
    Cruz Bustamante: I'm a real big fan! When I was growing up, I thought you guys were the greatest band around!
    Barry Gibb: Oh yeah, huh? You thought we, you thought we were the greatest? You hear that, Robin? We were! WERE!! Huh? Don't you EVER talk to me like that AGAIN!! I'M BARRY GIBB!!
  • Halloween Songs:
    • In "Spooky Song", a pair of teenagers try to hook up in a graveyard during Halloween Night, only for four ghosts to appear and sing about how they each died. One of the ghosts insists on night sharing his story (played by Chance the Rapper), only for the others to make him divulge in order to return to their graves. He reveals that he electrocuted himself to death with a lightning rod up his ass because batteries no longer did it for him.
    • In the sketch "Graveyard Songs", a pair of visitors (Sasheer Zamata and Pete Davidson) wander into a graveyard at night on Halloween, only for the grim reaper statue, a tree and two headbust gravestones to come alive and start singing a jolly halloween tune (the titular Graveyard Song). Unfortunately for them, a pair of ghosts named Paul and Phil (played by (Jim Carrey and Taran Killam) try singing along, but their lyrics derail the song's intent and they spoil the riddle the singers had for the couple.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Host Sarah Michelle Gellar did a pre-taped commercial parody for "Holding Your Own Boobs Magazine" spoofing handbra-style topless poses in magazines. In the spirit of the magazine, Gellar herself was actually topless for the duration of the sketch, using only her hands to cover her breasts
  • Happily Married: Stefon and Seth Meyers get married in Stefon's last appearance after years of buildup.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": A Running Gag in the Chad sketches is that someone will confide something very serious in Chad, only for him to snicker because they said something that could sound vaguely dirty.
    Jennifer Lopez: I'm in love with Alex...Rodriguez. A-Rod.
    Chad: Heh heh. Rod.
    Jennifer Lopez: What more could a girl want? He was a Yankee!
    Chad: He heh. Yank.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Cecily Strong can be seen cuddling her dog, Lucy, in the opening credits. One sketch has her as a bipolar European diva with a Precious Puppy, which she sends running off and then running back to her hands on cue.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Shanice Goodwin: Ninja, as played by Leslie Jones, may have the proper black suit, but ends up stumbling around and creating a much bigger din than Special Guest Scarlett Johansson, the much smaller-sized ninja in white.
  • Hippie Teacher:
  • Honest John's Dealership: Ned and Fed Jones, a pair of drugged-out street hustlers (played by 1985-86 cast members Damon Wayans and Anthony Michael Hall) who sold everything stolen, including pocketbooks (with ID), bikes, 1980s-style home computers, radios, and 1980s-style cable TV hook-ups.
  • Hulking Out:
    • One of Dwayne Johnson's contributions - when Barack Obama (Jay Pharoah)'s patience is tested by negotiations with the Republicans for the last time, his temper breaks and causes him to transform into The Rock Obama!
    • The Idris Elba episode parodies this with "The Impossible Hulk." Rather than turn into a terrifying beast when he gets stressed out, Idris turns into an entitled middle-aged white woman who won't leave until she gets her way.
  • Hulk Speak: The team-ups of Tarzan (Kevin Nealon), Tonto (Jon Lovitz), and Frankenstein's monster (Phil Hartman)! One sketch revealed the monster had a completely articulate Evil Twin played by Mel Gibson.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Kate Mckinnon's take on Kellyanne Conway. One famous sketch has her surviving a fall out the window that breaks all her limbs just by fixing them back. A followup sketch implies that Deadlights are involved.
  • Hypocrite: In one of the "Woodbridge High School Experimental Theatre" sketches, one of the scenes the students perform involves a girl delivering a eulogy to her dead mother, delivering a message about how you should cherish your parents before its too late. This is not appreciated by her actual mother, very much alive and in the audience, who disgruntledly points out that despite the pious and self-righteous tone of the eulogy her daughter is actually a "total bitch" to her on a daily basis.
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: In the recurring sketch "Bill Swerski's Superfans", the Chicago natives sit around discussing who would win things, with the answer always being "Da Bears!" (Or if it's basketball, "Da Bulls!") Or complete non-sequiturs like Mike Ditka vs. a hurricane.
  • I Am Not Spock: invoked
    • Jim Parsons' monologue in season 39 is an impassioned musical number aptly titled "I'm Not That Guy", complete with the regulars acting as various other well-known examples like Urkel and Fonz.
    Jim: Her role on Murder, She Wrote was sweet old Jessica Fletcher; but Angela Lansbury she robbed 50 banks and nobody could catch her!
    Angela (Kate Mckinnon): (brandishing a pistol) Get down on the ground!
    • During John Krasinski's opening monologue for his Season 46 hosting gig, everybody in the audience keeps calling him "Jim" and bugging him to make The Office references or to invokedkiss Pam.
  • I Am Very British: Cecily Strong often puts on a delightfully posh accent for her commercial narrations.
  • I Approved This Message:
    • From the parody of Hillary Rodham Clinton's 3 a.m. ad: "I'm Hillary Clinton and I approve this unfair and deceptive message."
    • In the episode where John McCain, then the actual Republican Nominee for President and the election only a few days away, McCain appears in a sketch as himself where he is personally approving the radio ads his campaign is putting together, complete with a live recording of "I approve this message" rather than them sticking a prerecorded version on to the end.
    • In the Seth MacFarlane episode/Season 38 premiere, Barack Obama (now played by Jay Pharoah) prefaced his attack ad on Mitt Romney with, "I'm Barack Obama, and I approved this message. Uhhhh...but I'm not real proud of it."
    • Done repeatedly in "The Passion of the Dumpty" sketch when the program cut to commercial.
    • One Weekend Update in 2015 attempts a disclaimer of sorts with the Hillary approval edited:
      "I'm Hilary Clinton and I approve this (badly dubbed by what sounds like a black dude) Joke."
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: One recurring sketch set in a mountain lodge has visitors from the big city who came here to deliberately visit a place like this (apparently the lodge is within a stone's throw of a dozen of them), and Bill Hader is Roger, the sole witness cum victim who's always scoffed at. It turns out to be Real After All... behind their backs.
  • Ignorant About Fire: One skit has a scene of cavemen hunting party gathered around a campfire. Guest Steve Martin plays The Smart Guy of the group, who develops the idea of encircling their prey to preclude escape. Bill Murray plays The Leader, who is also a Barbaric Bully, and so stupid that he steps into the campfire three times in total, yowling in pain each time.
  • I Have Many Names: Nick the Lounge Singer's last name changes depending on what film's theme song he has added lyrics to.
  • I Have This Friend:
    • In the Undercover Boss parody with Adam Driver appearing as Kylo Ren of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, who is disguised as "Matt," a radar technician, Matt tells a group of stormtroopers that he has a friend who saw Kylo Ren in the shower and that he had an 8-pack and was shredded.
    • Melania Trump (Cecily Strong) employs this trope to ask Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller) if a woman can testify against her husband:
      Melania: Hello, Michael, it’s Melania.
      Michael: Oh, hey, Melania. I was just talking to Donald about, uh –
      Melania: Oh, huh, yeah. Eh, listen, I have a completely hypothetical question for a friend of mine, okay? If her husband is accused of crime, would she have to testify against him?
      Michael: No.
      Melania: But could she? If she wanted?
      Michael: I guess she could.
      Melania: Oh, my friend will be so happy. Thank you, Michael!
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Subverted in Pamela Anderson's monologue. She was "nervous" because it was her first time hosting, but remembered advice that Tommy Lee gave her: Have the audience picture her naked. That didn't work- she actually had to be naked.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: One sketch has Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong, Leslie Jones and Special Guest Miley Cyrus visiting the very diner where When Harry Met Sally... was filmed, where supposedly lots of diners have visited just to re-enact that scene.note  Then Vanessa, Cecily and Miley have a go, and they all start goading Leslie into doing it. And then wish they hadn't.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: The third ex-porn star in the "We're not porn stars anymore" skits will walk in and ask "Did somebody say [pun relating to the item being sold]?" - only it's subverted because the cue is never said, and eventually the main girls just have the third one do their schtick regardless.
  • Incredibly Long Note: The Arsenio Beckman sketch ends with Phil Hartman (as the announcer) saying, "Don't leave your seats, we'll be right back with more Arseniooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Beckman!"
  • In-Series Nickname: The much-loved SNL girl group, comprised of regulars and the Special Guest if possible, started going with "Nasty Girls" at some point. Aidy Bryant in particular always goes by "Lil' Baby Aidy", which is made into a necklace she wears in "Back Home Baller".
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures:
    • Casting Bobby Moynihan as Kim Jong Un is a ballsy move on its own, but in this sketch the bits of Korean you can make out above the English translator's voice are actually Japanese.
    • Speaking of lil' Kim, the role would later go to Bowen Yang, who's actually Chinese and started out in a non-speaking take on the role (basically mumbling Korean-sounding gibberish while a translator provided the actual dialogue), before going with accented English that was really his Ken Jeong voice.
    • In the game show "Can I Play That?", Jackie correctly answers that a Japanese character can only be played by "anyone who's Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and maybe Pakistani".
      Host: Once you're generally Asian, that's as far as anybody looks into it.
  • Intercourse with You: Parodied with the T.T. and Mario album. Most of the songs have the word 'booty' in the title.
  • Interspecies Romance: Aidy Bryant as Tinkerbell's half-sister Tonkerbell is actually a twofold deal - first she mentions that Tink's her half-sister, from their mother being with a housefly, then she reveals she's been dating a mouse.
    Peter Pan: If you say anymore I'll never have a happy thought again!
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Spoofed quite a few times during the show's run. Season 44 has "Ït's a Wonderful Trump", where Donald Trump gets to see what it would have been like if he was never elected President. Melania (Cecily Strong) talks without an accent since she's long left him for someone with better command of English; Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon) looks younger as a result of breaking her Deal with the Devil; and Eric Trump (Alex Moffat) is now smart enough to solve a Rubik's cube. The twist: Robert Mueller (Robert De Niro) is the one guy cursed with Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory.
  • I Want Grandkids: Exaggerated for laughs in Season 47 Episode 9. Paul Rudd's character is directing a commercial asking moms what they want (as in things that can be bought and sold). The moms keep finding ways to shoehorn grandchildren into what they say.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Dana and Niff (Cecily Strong and Bobby Moynihan) may be rude and loud especially when they think they're about to be fired, but they tend to be right about why half of their colleagues shouldn't be in customer service in any capacity. And at least one supervisor did mention that "the customers love you". Also their warnings about Andrew tend to be ignored, up until he chloroforms and drags off the supervisor at least once.
  • Judgement of the Dead: This appears in a tribute to Rodney Dangerfield. In the sketch, St. Peter reads a list of questions to the late comedian who has arrived at the pearly gates, then simply says, "Okay, you can get in." RD is amazed at this, and St. Peter admits, "I just wanted to hear those jokes one last time." RD is nearly reduced to tears upon realizing that he has finally gotten some respect.
  • Karmic Rape: At one point during his tenure as host of Weekend Update, Norm Macdonald joked that Prison Rape, being the worst part of the whole experience, should be formally portioned out during sentencing.
  • Kick the Dog: The whole point of the "Super Showcase" sketch is showing the contestant (Vanessa Bayer) everything she didn't win due to one wrong answer.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: One sketch is about Vanessa Bayer as the Alpha Bitch setting up a Carrie-level prank on the new girl in school. The twist? She's played by Special Guest Ronda Rousey.
  • The Killjoy: Debbie Downer, played by Rachel Dratch, constantly ruined other people's fun by bringing up unpleasant facts. The character's name became a slang term for a depressing person, and has been added to several dictionaries.
  • Kinky Role-Playing:
    • Parodied in a recurring sketch where a couple tries to spice up their sex life by talking dirty and role-playing. However, the girlfriend keeps taking the scenarios to weird places and turning off her boyfriend, such as by role-playing as a dirty third grader or pretending to be the Elephant Man.
      Boyfriend: I want you.
      Girlfriend: Yeah you do, you little bitch.
      Boyfriend: Ooh, you're so mean to me.
      Boyfriend: What?
    • A parody of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" has Daddy watching Mommy and Santa Claus kiss as part of a cuckoldry fetish, and then when Santa tries to leave, Mommy and Daddy choke Santa out. Luckily, this is all part of an elaborate role-play they organized on Craigslist.
  • Lady in Red: Kristen Wiig in the "Red Flag" commercial takes a... unique approach.
    Narrator: Red Flag. The only perfume that warns men...
    Kristen: I'm f*cking crazy!
  • Lame Pun Reaction: In the March 4, 2017 Weekend Update, Jost's U2 pun makes much of the audience groan.
    Che: He insisted on telling that.
  • Large Ham:
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes:
    • In "Weekend Update", Bill Hader as culture reporter Stefon often cracks up because the writer of the bit changes the cue cards at the last minute to stuff even more outrageous than planned.
    • In a Celebrity Jeopardy! skit, Sean Connery would nearly always crack up at his own obnoxious jokes while Alex Trebek would wear an annoyed deadpan expression.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the "Family Feud" sketch from the Sterling K. Brown episode in 2018, Jordan Peele (Chris Redd) tells Steve Harvey (Kenan Thompson) that at some point, you have to move on from sketch comedy. Thompson, who's been on the show for fifteen seasons as well as All That for five seasons before joining SNL, begins to break character at that point.
  • Least Rhymable Word: In The Religetables, during the Salem witch burning part:
    Broccoli and Yam: (singing) "God has a hitch / To right the witch / Without a hitch / We'll watch her twitch / And then we'll pitch / her in a ditch / And it's a cinch..!
    Broccoli: (talking) That doesn't rhyme.
    Yam: (talking) Whatever.
  • Leaving Food for Santa: "The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Christmas". Harry is Subbing for Santa and discovers some milk and cookies out.
    What's this? [sniffs milk] I'd better put this in the fridge before it turns.
  • Leno Device: In "Divertor", Leno is shown making jokes on the various scandals that erupt.
  • Likes Older Men: Aidy Bryant as Melanie, a middle school girl who goes to a slumber party and falls for her friend's father each time. It's actually explained all of one time when the father is played by Drake:
    Melanie's Mom (Vanessa Bayer): She's not 12, she's 25. We lied to her about how long she was in that Vicodin coma, so she's all horned up and she doesn't know why.
  • Literal-Minded: A lovely example when John Mulaney returns for the second time in 2019, pointing out that his first hosting gig was in April 2018, and adding that they have a photo. They show a photo of the calendar page for April 2018.
  • Live but Delayed: SNL had three episodes were put on seven-second delay, all of which were hosted by controversial comedians — Richard Pryor (Season 1), Sam Kinison (Season 12), and Andrew "Dice" Clay (Season 15). Outside of that, SNL is only live on the East and Central Time Zones and tape delayed on the Mountain and West—that is, until April-May of 2017, when, for the first time, the show aired live all across the country.
  • Long Bus Trip: After beginning the "Coffee Talk" segment as Paul Baldwin, Mike Myers found it was funnier hosting it as Linda Richman. Officially, though, Linda's appearances are just her filling in for her friend Paul while he recovers from "shpilkes in his genecktageesoink."
  • Long List:
    • When Dana Carvey impersonated George Michael, complaining about how the editor of his music video didn't follow his instructions:
      Carvey: It went: Shot of boot, beard shot, belt, bullfighter, hair, crowd, face, hand, bull, boot, hair. And I told them specifically it was supposed to be: Butt shot, shot of the hand, back to the butt, hand, butt, hand, butt, hand, butt, belt, butt, beard, butt, butt, earring, face, butt, earring, tight, hold on the butt, hold on the butt; it's a formula, but it bloody works!
    • The sketch digging about a teacher being sued for sex with a student unknowingly veers into one of these.
      Prosecutor (Taraji P. Henson): Did the kids call you names?
      Student (Pete Davison): Um, yes ma'am; The Man, Luckiest Guy Ever, My Hero, Baller, Lil' Pimp, Lil' Baller, The One, Goodyear Pimp, Fred Pimpstone, Ren and Pimpy, King of the Teachers, After-School Special, Teacher's Petter, The Boy who Lived, Gavin the Great, Magic the Gavin-ing, Legend, Supercalifragilisticexpi-such-a-dope-kid, and He who has Sex with Teachers - I'm sorry, that's all I can remember, those were the main ones.
    • Kenan as Dominican baseballer David "Big Papi" Ortiz, spokesman for Conspicuous Consumption and countless endorsements, who's always going into one long list after another. Made even more ridiculous by doing it in presumably his mother tongue.
    • Also from Weekend Update:
      Michael: This week Sony Pictures announced it would not release the movie The Interview, drawing criticism for giving in to terrorist threat. Because studios are only supposed to give in to the threats of actors. And directors, and producers. And agents, and focus groups, and bloggers, theater chains, conservative groups, liberal groups and anyone with a damn Twitter account.
    • A lesser-seen Running Gag in Weekend Update involves deliberately subverting this with a scroll that's deliberately done a little too fast just to show how short the list really is. For example, episode 2 of the 2017 Summer Edition lists everything the Economic Advisory Council accomplished before it collapsed: Had One Meeting, Got the Wifi Password, Ordered Thai food, Everyone Quit.
    • One season 43 episode has Bill Hader going into a list of inbreeding-related conditions after it's revealed that incest is supposedly commonplace in Ireland.
    • Pete Davidson again in season 44, regarding his new relationship with Kate Beckinsale, starts going into a list of every Hollywood relationship where the guy was the significantly older one. It's ridiculous, even if you ignore how Larry King pops up three times.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: The show's cast and crew turnover is as legendary as its peak-and-valley quality, and the reason why it has such a love/hate relationship with viewers. According to show creator Lorne Michaels on an E!-channel special about the history of the show (from Season 1 to 28), this is the secret to the show's longevity. Seasons 6 and 11 have been the only seasons where the entire cast turned over at once. The fact that both seasons were poorly received and put the show's future in doubt explains why Michaels has since made sure to keep at least a core of the previous year's cast even in drastic overhauls.
  • Long-Runners:
    • SNL has hit 47 seasons and shows no signs of ending its run anytime soon (with Lorne himself stating that the only way the show is going to end is if he dies or decides to retire, as he really doesn't want SNL to fall into another showrunner's hands like what happened between 1980 and 1985). It has survived cast and crew changes, eight U.S. Presidents (starting with Gerald Ford), harsh critics, low ratings, threats of cancellation, fickle fans, radical (and not-so-radical) social and cultural shifts, world and domestic events that often make it hard to laugh at the news (particularly the September 11th attacks, as it happened in the city where the show is broadcast), and all of the Dueling Shows that have aired as alternatives (taking out Fridays and MADtv, which were specifically made to get disillusioned fans of SNL to watch their shows and see them as better). Its presidential election spoofs are now so traditional, they're a de facto part of the American Political System. The show has run for so long that all of its current cast members are younger than the show itself.note 
    • A lot of cast members have been on for more than seven years like Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Nealon, Tim Meadows, Al Franken, Fred Armisen, Kenan Thompson, Seth Meyers, and Darrell Hammond. Kenan currently holds the longest tenure out of any cast member in the show's history, currently in his 19th season.
  • Loony Fan:
    • The current page quote comes from a sketch about a support group for obsessive fans of Mr. Belvedere. They play a game called "Should and Shouldn't" which "helps keep the line between fantasy and reality a little less blurry":
      Chris Farley: I should want to say "Hi!" to Mr. Belvedere. I shouldn't want to kidnap him and keep him in a big glass jar in my basement.
      Tom Hanks: Okay, okay. That's good, we get that. But why? Why shouldn't you do that?
      Chris Farley: [beat] Uh, because his breath would fog up the glass and I couldn't see him then?
    • They once did a direct parody of Misery featuring Roseanne Barr as Dana Carvey's biggest fan. After Carvey announces he's retiring the Church Lady character, then gets into a car accident with John Lovitz, Barr rescues him (but apparently left Lovitz to die). When she finds out he's killed off the Church Lady, she starts trying to dress him up as her, to the point of painfully shoving orthopedic shoes on his mangled legs. They get in a fight until Lovitz shows up completely unharmed, kills Barr, and kills Carvey so he can steal the Church Lady character.
    • A Season 46 sketch parodies the music video for Eminem's "Stan," except it focuses on a deranged fan of Santa Claus named Stu writing a letter asking for a PS5 before presumably killing himself when Santa doesn't get back to him.
  • Loony Librarian: Exaggerated in a sketch with Margot Robbie as a Hot Librarian who turns out to be a creepy, murderous, acid-spewing alien.
  • Loophole Abuse: "Celebrity Family Feud" with Jimmy Fallon as Jim Parsons. Jim manages to nail an overly obscure answer on the board, before revealing that he was able to get it up there just by being one of the 100 people surveyed.
  • Lounge Lizard: Bill Murray's Nick the Lounge Singer is the Trope Codifier for the stereotypical lounge singer.
  • Machine Monotone: Utilized in the "Robot Repair" sketch.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: A lot of people who recap episodes like Rich Tackenburg and Rob Cesternino say that a lot of current charcters do this. Such as Drunk Uncle, The Porn Stars, or Riblit.
    • Reese De'What will often open Cinema Classics by remarking upon a time when his wife asked him a question and he gave her a snarky, insulting answer, then he says to the camera, "Worst. [insert event]. Ever."
  • Magical Negro: Invoked with Kenan as a racelifted take on the angel from It's a Wonderful Life.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • "Teachers Snow Day" leads to two teachers "having Fifty Shades sex" somewhere in the school.
    • The first part of the Leslie & Kyle arc ends with them doing it in the guest host's dressing room.
  • Malaproper:
  • Two recurring Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong characters are a duo of porn actresses-turned-advert stars with barely functioning brains. Naturally, they have difficulty with some of the words they have to say in their commercials.
Cecily's character: All the grits and grammar of a high-class shoe.
Vanessa's character: Good ribbons.
  • Bobby Moynihan does this a lot, most famously as Drunk Uncle, but also as Anthony Crispino, a "second-hand news correspondent" who has a habit of mangling words when retelling the gossip he's overheard.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices:
    • Bruno Mars is revealed to be this in the Pandora Power Outage sketch. Ariana Grande repeated the achievement.
    • Kenan Thompson has done the most impressions on the show. However, people who do podcasts like Rich Tackenburg and Rob Cesternino say he's terrible at impressions.
    • Jay Pharaoh has a recurring "Secret X Meeting" bit in Weekend Update - in season 41 he goes into a string of impressions to illustrate a secret meeting of black comedians (including SNL alumni Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock among others), and in another one it's a string of rappers.
  • Manchild: A sketch in the Selena Gomez episode parodies Old Enough with Old Enough: Longterm Boyfriends. Instead of a four-year-old going on errands, it's a 34-year-old who spends so much time playing video games and LEGOs that he's totally lost when his girlfriend asks him to run an errand for her. He breaks down crying when he can't find the makeup she wants at Sephora.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: In one sketch from the Regina King / Nathaniel Rateliff episode, Regina's cop character unknowingly eats a bunch of weed gummies from a stash of evidence in the cop car, leading to a musical acid trip featuring singing gummy bears, a demonic Marge Simpson, and an adult version of the sun from Teletubbies.
  • Martial Arts for Mundane Purposes: In the early years of the show, one of John Belushi's standard sketches involved a samurai warrior using his sword skills. One specific sketch was "Samurai Delicatessen", where he used his katana to cut up food items such as meats.
  • May–December Romance:
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: In a rare onscreen appearance, then-writer Adam McKay is a Weekend Update correspondent polling kids on their reactions to the 2000 Presidential election. Unwisely, he asks them to step into the back of a windowless van in order to respond.
  • The Mockbuster: One sketch is about the voice acting work behind the new movie Zoo-opolis, which even has the voice actors mimicking well-known celebrities (similar to the Pandora Power Outage sketch) in lieu of being able to afford real ones.
    Kenan: Alright, as you know we just completed the initial story board for TV movie Zoo-Opolis. It’s an animated film about a city that’s full of animals.
    Octavia: Is that like, Zootopia?
    Kenan: "Is that like, Zootopia?" Who are you? My lawyer?
  • Monochrome Casting: The show has received some criticism in The New '10s for not having a diverse cast. The majority of its cast members have been white and the show has rarely had more than one non-white cast member at a time (and has never had any fully Asian cast members). The show has especially come under fire for not having any black female cast members since Maya Rudolph's departure in 2007(and for having had only 4 black female cast members in its 38 year history), a fact that was highlighted when Kerry Washington guest starred (the Cold Open featured her having to play Michelle Obama, Oprah and Beyonce in the same sketch because of the lack of black women, also mocking the show's tendency to use black male actors in drag). SNL attempted to remedy this by holding a casting call in December 2013 specifically for black women, and in January 2014 hired black woman Sasheer Zamata. In season 40, SNL hired (or rather, rehired) Michael Che (a former short-lived SNL writer who quit to do The Daily Show, but was called back to SNL when Cecily Strong decided that Weekend Update wasn't for her) and Leslie Jones as cast members. Because of this (and the fact that Kenan Thompson, Jay Pharoah, and Sasheer Zamata haven't been fired or quit), SNL's 40th season is the first time that the show has had more than three black cast members and the first time they've have two who were black women.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: In a sketch built around wartime letters, a homefront wife becomes paranoid about her husband having spoken with a French woman, and even tries to claim a Double Standard at work when he asks horrified questions about how she managed to produce footage of herself palling around with the Nazi high command.
  • Mood Whiplash: In-universe, the couple on the "100 Floors of Frights" Halloween ride are enjoyably freaked out by everything they see until David S. Pumpkins — who is basically just a smarmy guy in a suit covered with pumpkins accompanied by two guys in skeleton costumes doing a dance — shows up out of nowhere. At which point they are so bewildered by how weirdly out of place he is and the fact that he keeps showing up that they spend the entire rest of the ride trying to figure out what his deal is.
    David S. Pumpkins: Any questions?
    Man: YES! SEVERAL! I mean, what, he has the middle initial now? I am so in the weeds with David Pumpkins!
    • The Happy Smile Patrol Sketch lives on this trope, rapidly cutting between a saccharine kids show and a news report detailing that the entertainers the audience just saw are drug smugglers, murderers and violent militia members.
  • Most Writers Are Male:
    • The recurring "ESPN Classic" sketches are about women-only sports with Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte as commentators, and being sponsored primarily by feminine products leads to some of the most awkward Product Placement in history.
    • Due to the Day Without Women protest, all of the writers were male for one infamous sketch.
  • Mouthing the Profanity: The show once featured a sketch with Joe Pesci playing his Goodfellas character buying a pinkie ring. He goes to the mirror to try it on and begins miming a conversation which ends as an angry argument full of F words. Today, censors would pixelate his mouth and no one would get the joke.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • A large number of Taran Killam's otherwise unrelated roles have him go sleeveless. Or shirtless. Or less.
    • After Taran's departure, Beck Bennet has inherited that role; his shorter frame makes his dad bod even more pronounced, and his best known role is the perpetually shirtless Vladimir Putin. The Christmas episode of season 44 even has him in a tight tee in the Cold Open.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • The SNL Digital Short "Lazy Sunday", in which Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell rap with hugely inappropriate levels of aggression about their Sunday afternoon of waking up late, getting cupcakes together and going to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
    • "So long as men can breathe and eyes can see, so long lives this and gives life to me... SECTIONAL COUCHES!"
    • The 2017 sketch "Papyrus" featured Ryan Gosling reacting to the fact that whoever did the poster for Avatar used the Papyrus font, as if it were a horrific murder that the killer got away with. What makes it especially surreal is that the poster designer behaves exactly the same way.
      Ryan Gosling: I know what you did! I KNOW WHAT YOU DIIIID!
  • Muppet Cameo: Back in the late nineties, Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, and Chris Kattan used to do an annual Christmas song. When Fallon, Morgan, and Kattan left, The Muppets came in to cheer up Horatio!
  • Mushroom Samba: Episode 12 of Season 46 has a sketch titled "The Negotiator." In it, host Regina King plays a police officer who is called in to handle a hostage situation, but before arriving she admits that she ate en entire bag of gummy bears in a bag labeled EVIDENCE. What ensues is her hallucinations of giant weed gummies, lava men, the devil as Marge Simpson, and the Baby Sun from Teletubbies all grown up.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: One sketch in the Ryan Gosling episode is for a dating app named Settl. They guarantee a date by taking out the swipe left function. The tagline? "Tick tock".

     Tropes N–S 
  • N-Word Privileges:
    • One of the most famous sketches in the history of the show was the first-season "Word Association" sketch in which Chevy Chase's character gives Richard Pryor's character a series of increasingly nasty racial slurs during the word association test. It ends with a terrified Chase giving an enraged Pryor the job.
    • The 70s Buddy Cop Show parody "Dyke & Fats" about a pair of Chicago policewomen: "Les Dykawitz"(Kate McKinnon), who's gay and "Chubbina Fatzarelli" (Aidy Bryant), who's large. After they solve a case they congratulate each other, calling each other by their nicknames but when the Da Chief (host Louis C.K.) says "Good going Dyke and Fats!" they get angry and yell "You don't get to call us that! Only we get to say it! Those are our words! We love each other, we're friends!" and then the end credit reads: "Created by Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant".
    • Dave Chappelle dropped the N-word in his opening monologue in Season 42.
    • A joke by Michael Che during Weekend Update on the 42nd Season about why one of the former cast members of The Cosby Show didn't denounce Bill Cosby once he got accused of sexual assault was because, according to her, "That nigga made me rich."
    • Also in Weekend Update, Leslie Jones hitting on Colin by calling him "you vanilla milkshake" or something similar, but whenever Colin tries to respond with anything including the word "black" she immediately goes "no, you can't say that".
    • Subverted in season 44, when Michael Che claims that the terms of his contract only allow him to say it up to 4 times for the entire season. Then he uses up one. Seth Meyers jokingly complained that he was here for twelve years and Lorne never gave him one. "Probably for the best..."
    • In one filmed bit where he's undercover as a liberal white woman, Che says "Your masculinity is getting mad toxic, my nigga!" to (white) Alex Moffat.
    • One Season 6 sketch has Charles Rocket (as Uncle Lester) drop it completely uncensored when talking about hunting communists as game, comparing the odds of shooting of one to that of shooting "a jew or a nigger" as one and the same. One can consider his eventual firing over his similarly uncensored "fuck" in the finale as a bit of delayed Laser-Guided Karma over this.
  • Naked People Are Funny:
  • While not nearly naked, the sketch with Beck Bennet and Kyle Mooney as two out-of-control kids has them in tshirts and tightey-whiteys getting into repeated scuffles, defused by their father turning a hose on them until they're soaked to the skin.
  • Narrowed It Down To The Guy I Recognise: A sketch from the Jonah Hill episode is a send-up of Cluedo, with six murder suspects, half male half female, and all in different colors but deliberately jumbled up. Turns out the culprit is the only one whose color and gender match a canon character - Kate Mckinnon as "Mrs White".
  • Nested Story Reveal: In the "Totinos" sketch, what starts out seeming like an ad for a microwavable snack ends up being a promo for The X-Files instead.
  • Never Heard That One Before: In the 40th Anniversary Special, during the Wayne's World sketch, one of the top 10 reasons why SNL is great is because every season, some reviewer titles their review "Saturday Night Dead" (usually in a review about how weak and lame the show is/has become), and acts like they're the first person to come up with that.
  • New Season, New Name:
    • When this show first started, it was called "NBC's Saturday Night" because there was already a show on ABC called "Saturday Night Live" (this one had Howard Cosell as a permanent host). The NBC version wouldn't be officially called Saturday Night Live until season three (in season two, the "NBC" part of the title was dropped and the show was called Saturday Night).
    • The 1980-81 season was renamed "Saturday Night Live '80" in order to differentiate it from the five Lorne-produced seasons before it. The "80" was dropped in January 1981 (and the rest of the Jean Doumanian season was dropped a month later).
    • On most anniversary seasons, specifically the 15th, 20th, 25th, 35th, and 40th seasons, the show is referred to in the opening credits and commercial break bumpers as Saturday Night Live, plus the corresponding number (SNL 15, SNL 25, SNL 35, and SNL 40).
    • The name of "Weekend Update" changed a couple of times during the Dick Ebersol era. It changed back to "Weekend Update" when Lorne Michaels returned in 1985.
  • News Parody: Weekend Update, which has been a part of the show since the beginning, is arguably the Trope Maker for this genre.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Jonah Hill's recurring character Adam Grossman, a six-year-old who inexplicably talks like an Alter Kocker insult comic whenever he's dining at Benihana, but is somehow popular enough that he and the teppanyaki chef (Fred Armisen) know each other by name.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: One Weekend Update brings up the Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty, which is supposedly "based on the crayon drawings of a 5-year-old after his parents were murdered."
  • No-Hoper Repeat: When "Vintage SNL" appears on Saturday night at 10PM EST, you can rest assured NBC had nothing else to put in that timeslot.
  • No Indoor Voice:
    • The Loud Family, with Bill Murray and Jane Curtin as the parents, and two daughters played by Gilda Radner and Special Guest Carrie Fisher. They're visited by one daughter's boyfriend, a soft-spoken Dan Aykroyd; then by the other daughter's boyfriend, John Belushi as an airport signaller who still has his hearing protection on and never notices; then by the police.
      Dan: I'm sorry... how did it happen?
      Bill: AVALANCHE!!
    • Will Ferrell as Jacob Silj, who's apparently been diagnosed with Voice Immodulation Syndrome. The details remain sketchy due to him still being the only patient by 2018.
  • Noodle Incident: The "Celebrity Jeopardy!" skits typically start off with Trebek apologizing for some kind of noodle incident that occurred during the previous, unseen, round of the game, e.g. "I apologize for what happened before the commercial, and would like to assure the audience that all three contestants are now wearing pants."
  • Non-Standard Prescription: Christopher Walken has a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.
  • No Product Safety Standards: Dan Aykroyd's recurring character Irwin Mainway. He's a corrupt salesman; in his first appearance he is trying to persuade a TV reporter that his company's toys are fun and safe for children. The products include a teddy bear with a built-in functioning chainsaw, Johnny Switchblade Adventure Punk, and Bag O' Glass (a bag of real broken glass! Also try Bag O' Sulfiric Acid!), etc. More Hilarity Ensues when he then tries to "prove" that other, safe toys are extremely unsafe. In a later appearance he's running an Amusement Park of Doom that works on similar (un)principles; the sketch ends with the host attacking him out of sheer horror!
  • Nostalgia Filter: Those who grew up with the show are among the most vocal critics of its current shape. Also, because 60-minute cable reruns and video compilations have trimmed a lot of the weaker material from the older shows, it's easy to forget that even during its good seasons SNL had bad moments (from lousy hosts and musical guests to recurring characters and sketches that suffer from being underdeveloped and/or annoying — though this can apply to the stuff that people actually remember or have currently seen). The DVD box sets of uncut and complete seasons of the show, in the original order and from the beginning, may be helping to undercut this.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the December 03, 2016 cold open, both Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway look into the camera and point out that Trump really did retweet a 16-year-old boy.
  • Nuclear Family: In the December 19, 2020 episode's skit "Christmas Morning", the family consists of a mother, a father, a son and a daughter.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In the "Celebrity Jeopardy!" Sketches, most of the contestants are hilariously stupid. It is implied that regular guest Sean Connery is not nearly as stupid as any of the other contestants, behaving as such just to get a rise out of Trebek.
    Ferrell/Trebek:... And Tom Hanks is caught in a dry cleaning bag.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy do a jazzy dance behind a sheet, so we only see their outlines. McCarthy's is about 150 lbs thinner than she is.
  • Occidental Otaku: Jonathan Cavanaugh-‘san’ and Rebecca Markowitz-‘san’, the hosts of Jpop America Funtime Now!, a campus TV programme, are about the most caricaturistic weeaboos you can possibly imagine, much to the frustration of their (white) Japanese studies professor and faculty advisor, Mark Kaufman (Jason Sudeikis).
    Prof. Kaufman: If there is such a thing as a loving version of racism, I think you found it.
  • Odd Organ Up Top: An episode (hosted by Jon Stewart) had a sketch where he plays the founder of several boy bands and presents his latest such group, which he genetically engineered himself. It's also revealed that he contaminated one batch and the resulting members came out wrong. One of these members, Ass-Face, has... well, look at his name and guess.
  • Old Shame: In-universe, there's a TV Funhouse cartoon where a boy and a girl gain entrance to the "Disney Vault", which is filled with old shames from the Disney legacy (such as a really racist cut of Song of the South). Mickey Mouse argues that you have to take the bad with the good.
  • Once a Season: This was basically the frequency of John Goodman's and Alec Baldwin's hosting gigs in the 90s.note  Also of Steve Martin's and Buck Henry's in the 70s, although in their case they usually hosted more than once a season.
  • Once per Episode:
    • The cold open always ends with, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
    • The host's monologue always ends with, "We've got a great show tonight, [musical guest] is here, so stick around!"
  • Only in Florida:
    • That sketch from the Margot Robbie episode about the news report where the anchors are less concerned about the sinkhole they should be reporting on, and more about why the incredulously attractive Alexandra Kennedy would marry the hilariously Gonktastic Matt Shatt, is set in Florida.
    • From Weekend Update:
      Cecily Strong: A 72-year-old man in Florida attacked the man in front of him for trying to check out more than 20 items in the express lane. Incidentally, "20 items or less" is Florida's only law.
    • Another Weekend Update features Kenan as the policeman who arrested Justin Bieber, and when asked about pulling over a major celebrity:
      "I work in Miami, nothing surprises me. Most cars we pull over have a tiger in the back seat, and an alligator in the trunk guarding the cocaine."
  • Only Sane Man: Alex Trebek in the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketches, who just wants to run a simple quiz show but has to keep dealing with self-absorption, vapidity and bullying from the celebrity guests.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Fred Armisen can't seem to decide on what accent Lawrence Welk actually had.
    Notice how when I pronounce the "th" in "Mother" it's "Mother", but when saying thank you it comes out as "tank yoo"?
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Played with. One sketch is about the three daughters of the king of the ocean, all mermaids - Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata are your typical mermaids, but Kate Mckinnon is Shud, who looks less like the vampiric siren you'd expect of a "different" mermaid, and more like that guy who took a toxic waste bath in RoboCop (1987), due to her fish half being blobfish.
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • One sketch is about a super-duper-uber-long stretch limo pulling up to a drive-thru, populated by increasingly rich, self-absorbed, eccentric dingbats who opt to let the next guy in line give his order, causing the stretch limo to advance to the next window, one at a time, very very slowly. The payoff comes at the end, when the vehicle's owner reveals himself - Bruno Mars.
    • Weekend Update mentions the Golden Globes and Jacqueline Bisset taking a little too long to reach the stage after winning Best Actress (Miniseries), leading to an appearance by Jacqueline Bisset (played by Vanessa Bayer), who somehow manages to take even longer to reach the Weekend Update desk. They go back to the news stories and check back on her later... and she's still in her seat.
    • Also on Weekend Update, Seth and Cecily throw way too many jabs at the divorce of Bruce and Kris Jenner, one after another.
    • A season 41 Weekend Update somehow leads to Jon Rudnitsky's audition for the Dirty Dancing stage musical, to the tune of an extended version of "(I've Had The) Time of My Life"... which needs to be really extended as Jon's dance goes from botching the overhead suspending part to having to apply CPR, then hiding the body, then getting found by the police and riddled with gunfire...
    • A minor case in "Back Home Baller" when they mention having to help your parents set up their wifi router with a 20-digit passcode... and then recite out the whole thing.
    • "One Voice", a rap song where the lead rapper (Kenan Thompson) introduces a few guest rappers, but can never actually start the song because more emcees keep inviting themselves to the track.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: "Simu & Bowen", which starts off with Simu Liu and Bowen Yang congratulating each other on their representation milestones (Liu was the first Asian Marvel film lead, Yang the first fully Asian cast member). It then turns into the two of them trying to one-up each other in the awards they got for being the first Asian men to do the pettiest things, from "first gay Asian man to mispronounce 'boutique'", "first Asian man to do a Cher impression on SNL", to "the first Asian to avail of the You-Pick-Two promo at Panera Bread". The final punchline is that Bowen can outdo him in milestones simply by being a gay Asian.
  • Overly-Nervous Flop Sweat: There was a skit, Alex Karras as guest host, where Billy Crystal plays a guy at a soda company who sweats excessively at a board meeting.
  • Parody Assistance: Dionne Warwick loved "The Dionne Warwick Talk Show", where Ego Nwodim portrays her as a self-absorbed old woman who is clueless about today's pop culture. She popped up on the November 6, 2021 version of the skit to be interviewed by her impersonator, even singing a duet with her.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Chris Hemsworth Disguised in Drag to infiltrate a circle of girlfriends just to suss out the estrogen brigade's view of him in his movies. Somehow they think he's been a longtime part of their circle. And he didn't even shave.
    • The spoof of Undercover Boss with Kylo Ren as "Matt the radar technician". All the Starkiller base crew were onto him long before he inadvertently used Force choke in front of them.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: From the "Bambi 2002" sketch: "Pokahontass". From the "Disney Vault" sketch: "101 Fellations".
  • Parking Payback: A memorable sketch had a man played by Christopher Walken on a TV show about pulling pranks, and the prank he played on a man who kept stealing his parking spot... murdering him.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Kate McKinnon as Mrs Santini, who settles the admittedly numerous complaints to her neighbors with the kind of little notes you'd rather not get.
    "How does your baby know my favorite song? [...] It was first recorded by Britney Spears when they push her face first into woodchipper..."
  • Payment Plan Pitch: The sketch "39 Cents" parodies Darkest Africa charity commercials, as the poor villagers in the background quickly take offense to Charles Daniels (Bill Hader) asking for a donation of "only 39 cents a day." When he repeatedly refuses their urging to raise the amount asked for, they take him hostage and use the commercial to demand a $200 ransom.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: In the "Dr. Beaman's Office" sketch, Chris Parnell called Will Ferrell a "vondruke".
  • Persona Non Grata: There are a handful of hosts who have caused so much trouble backstage (or on the show) that they can never host SNL again.note  Who are they, you ask? Well...
    • Louise Lasser: Hosted the penultimate episode of season one (July 24th, 1976). Michaels has gone on record in saying that Lasser was incoherent during her performance (due to cocaine abuse), locked herself in her dressing room causing the cast to split her parts and wouldn't appear in any sketches unless she was by herself or with Chevy Chase.
    • Speaking of which, Chevy Chase is banned from hosting (after doing so nine times–the record for a former cast member) simply due to his unbearable Jerkass attitude toward cast members and the writing staff. He has made small cameos in a few episodes and also appeared in the 40th anniversary special, but hasn't hosted since Season 22 (1996-97). Made all the more egregious in that he was an original cast member.
    • Charles Grodin: Hosted the October 29, 1977 episode and was banned for skipping rehearsals and ad-libbing his lines.
    • Frank Zappa: Hosted the October 21, 1978 episode and was banned for doing a disastrous job doing so, where he regularly mugged for the camera and frequently noted to the audience that he was reading from cue cards. Notably, during the goodbye at the end, the cast (except John Belushi) stands away from him.
    • Milton Berle: Hosted the April 14, 1979 episode, where he consistently upstaged other performers, mugged non-stop to the camera, plugged his autobiography, had one of his hangers-on lead a standing ovation and gave an unscripted performance of "September Rain". Michaels not only banned him from the show in response, but kept that episode from appearing in syndicated reruns later.
    • Robert Blake: Hosted the November 13, 1982 episode and was banned due to his un-cooperative attitude during rehearsals. At one point, he crumbled up a script presented to him by Gary Kroeger and threw it back in his face. Blake appears in only two sketches plus the monologue.
    • Andy Kaufman: In 1983, the show held a poll to determine whether or not to let him continue making appearances. The audience voted to against him, making him the only person to ever be banned by the show's audience.
    • Steven Seagal: Hosted the April 20, 1991 episode, and was banned soon afterwards because he had difficulty working with the cast and crew, often pitching lousy sketch ideas and getting angry that none of them were picked. A later episode had Nicolas Cage lament to Lorne Michaels that his monologue made him look like "the biggest jerk on the show":
      Michaels: No, no. That would be Steven Seagal.
    • Martin Lawrence: Hosted the episode that came right after the infamous Alec Baldwin-hosted show with the "Canteen Boy Goes Camping" sketch (where Canteen Boy (Adam Sandler) is molested by his scoutmaster) in 1994 (Season 19), and got himself banned when he launched into a monologue about the decline in women's hygiene. All reruns have cut off Martin's monologue and replaced it with cards that explain why this can never air on TV again.
    • Adrien Brody: Hosted in Season 28 (2002-03) and got himself banned after introducing musical guest Sean Paul in a rude boy Jamaican get-up and ad-libbing. There was nothing obscene about it; it's just that Lorne Michaels didn't approve of the piece and warned Brody not to do it. Considering how shaky in quality SNL was in its 28th season, this was considered a highlight (along with Dan Aykroyd coming back to host the last episode of the season).
    • Musical guest Sinéad O'Connor was banned after ripping up a picture of the Pope and calling him 'the real enemy' after her second song (the segment has been edited out as well, replaced with the dress rehearsal version where she shows the audience a picture of a starving child from Africa).
    • The most famous was probably Elvis Costello, who in a 1977 appearance defied Lorne Michaels' order that he was not to play "Radio Radio" on air. The ban was in effect until 1989, when he was the musical guest for the season 14 episode hosted by Mary Tyler Moore. He was later allowed to disrupt a Beastie Boys performance to play the song again during the 25th anniversary special in 1999.
    • F.E.A.R. (on the season seven episode hosted by Donald Pleasence, which is itself banned for its dark, disgusting humor) was banned after a profanity-laden and set-destroying performance. This was not helped by the people in the mosh pit, who caused at least $20,000 in damages.
    • The Replacements (on the season 11 episode hosted by Harry Dean Stanton) were banned after they performed while drunk, switched clothes between songs and screamed obscenities at the audience. However, Paul Westerberg later went solo and was allowed to appear.
    • Cypress Hill (on the season 19 episode hosted by Shannen Doherty) was banned after DJ Muggs trashed the dressing room and lit a joint on-camera.
    • Rage Against the Machine (on the season 21 episode hosted by Steve Forbes) were banned after they hung upside down American flags from their gear in protest of the host. Crew members stepped in to remove both the flags and the band from the stage, prohibiting them from performing a second song during the show and banning then for life.
  • Pet the Dog: In the midst of the Mueller investigation, Robert Mueller (Robert De Niro) takes some time to reach out to Eric Trump (Alex Moffat), who's been suffering sleepless nights over the way everyone in his family is being affected.
  • Phone Word: A Parody Commercial for a harassment agency's phone number is 1-800-HARASSS - "the extra "S" is for extra harassment."
  • Pixellation: When Pamela Anderson guest hosted, she admitted to being nervous and remembered that the best way to combat stage fright is to picture the audience naked. When that didn't work, she surmised that you actually have to be naked. At that, she stripped and her breasts and pubic area were censored by pixellation (of course, she wasn't actually naked- if you look closely you can see she's still wearing underwear).
  • Place Worse Than Death: The hometown of Olya Povlatsky (played by Kate Mckinnon), Krezynovichjorgjykultkuljkulchkulk (more or less), which translates into "desolation of smog".
  • Plant Hair: There was a sketch recommending chia hair for people suffering from hair loss.
  • Playing Catch with the Old Man: In a season 44 sketch, Pete Davidson's Chad dies and is taken by an angel to the afterlife to find closure with his father Brad (Adam Sandler). The angel conjures up a baseball and two gloves, intending for them to bond over a game of catch. It backfires when it turns out Brad is just as oblivious and lazy as Chad.
  • Playing Gertrude:
    • Aidy Bryant can get saddled with mature roles (from high school teachers to the wife of Alec Baldwin, while Mikey Day plays their son) despite being one of the youngest in the cast.
      • In season 45, Aidy plays Kyle Mooney's mom (which is actually a recurring pairing) while host JJ Watt is the dad. JJ is five years younger than Kyle!
    • Nasim Pedrad, and after her departure, Kate McKinnon and Melissa Villasenor often get saddled with geriatric roles.
    • In the Coneheads sketches, Dan Aykroyd, who plays the father Beldar, is actually four months younger than Laraine Newman, who plays daughter Connie, and they're both five years younger than Jane Curtin, who plays mother Prymaat. So the father is actually younger than either mother or daughter.
  • The Pollyanna: Willie, Kenan Thompson's recurring character on Weekend Update. His whole shtick is recounting horrific memories of his life to Michael Che, his neighbor. And yet, he never once complains about them and is always so undyingly optimistic that you just want to give the guy a hug.
  • Porn Names: Several of the porn stars helping Brookie and the one in Witness Protection film their commercicals have ridiculous names like LeJean Noween, Girth Brooks, and James Franco.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • As a live broadcast, several F-bombs have accidentally dropped over the years, starting with Paul Shaffer in a 1980 sketch. The most notorious cases were Charles Rocket in 1981 (the mishap that effectively ended Jean Doumanian's brief tenure as producer) and Jenny Slate in 2009 (in her first featured sketch on her first episode).
    • Whether Prince actually swore in his 1981 appearance (on the same episode as Rocket's incident, which happened right after Prince's song) has been disputed, though.
    • System of a Down played a song that was already being bleeped for profanity, but an ad-libbed F-bomb got through.
    • Worth noting is that Kristen Stewart is responsible for one but got another hosting stint in season 45, showing that they've moved past it.
    • At the end of Weekend Update in the Eddie Murphy episode, Cecily Strong as Jeanine Pirro says "It's merry fucking Christmas", which got past the censors. The same episode has Murphy say "we can still win this shit!" in another sketch, though that got censored.
  • Pregnancy Scare: One skit parodied pregnancy test commercials, with a couple who were really hoping their one-night-stand hadn't resulted in conception.
  • President Superhero: The X-Presidents. Hey, a President who has left office is customarily called "President" forever, so they do count.
  • Press X to Die: One Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch had "Don't Do Anything" as a category where players were penalized for ringing in. Of course, this being the Saturday Night Live version, the celebrities still manage to screw it up (with Connery admitting that did so out of malice for Trebek).
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy:
    • Weekend Update can rope in quite a few performers as themselves regardless of the subject matter, but Pete Davidson has had to adopt certain traits in certain occasions, such as showing up in a gold chain for a bit about the BET awards. The very first thing Michael Che does is shake his head.
    • Aidy Bryant on the other hand wields this trope like a double edged sword - she's the unofficial frontman of the girl group music videosnote , and then there's Tonkerbell and several other of her characters.
    • Inverted in a sketch where John Mulaney is nervous about meeting his African-American fiancee's friends and family, but shows an unaffected rapport with them (one of them being his old frat buddy from Howard University), all while doing an intricate line dance routine to "Cha Cha Slide".
    • In the "Samurai Night Fever" sketch, Futaba (John Belushi) is Italian-American but dresses like a samurai, and his brother (O.J. Simpson) actually became black in the '60s, but decides to stop, because it's no longer countercultural in the '70s.
  • Pretty in Mink: Some rich ladies in skits would wear nice furs, although there were a few instances of Fur and Loathing as well.
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: The season 43 finale starts with a sketch about Donald Trump meeting up with several other people caught up in his scandals, like Michael Cohen contemplating the prospect of going to jail, whereupon Trump says "they have a free gym, you are going to get so jacked".
  • The Problem with Pen Island: Sean Connery takes this up to eleven on Celebrity Jeopardy, who will always misread clearly spaced categories, typically as something sexual, such as "The pen is mightier" as "The penis mightier," "Catch these men" as "Catch the semen," and "Let it snow" as "Le tits now."
  • Product Placement:
    • One of Kristen Wiig's recurring characters is the over-enthusiastic Target cashier.
    • All of the "former porn star" commercials feature actual brands. The execution is something else though.
    • "Office Christmas Party" has the boss "makin' it rain", handing out gift cards for actual brands.
    • There's a Recurring Element where they start the sketch like this, only to Bait-and-Switch at the end.
    "Burger King: At least we're not McDonald's."
    • Dana and Niff (Cecily Strong and Bobby Moynihan), world's worst employees, are somehow able to find employment at big-name places like Best Buy and McDonalds.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You:
    • One sketch has Jon Hamm and singer Michael Bublé doing a TV spot for their new restaurant that serves "fine pork dishes and sparkling Champagne", Hamm & Bublé, the latter of which Jon pronounces like "bubbly". Michael corrects him: "Actually, it's pronounced BOO-blay," but Jon counters, "Well, Boo-blay doesn't work, so now it's pronounced Buh-blee."
    • In a Shout-Out to Liza Minnelli, Saoirse Ronan's monologue has her sing the correct pronunciation of her first name to the audience. People still pronounce it like "Cersei."
  • Prophetic Names: In his first episode as a cast member, Luke Null appeared in no sketches.
  • Proxy Breakup: In the sketch "The Understudy", Melissa Villaseñor asks Chloe Fineman to impersonate her and break up with a boyfriend. As Melissa admits, she's terrible with breakups.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • "I'M BARRY! EFFING!! GIBB!!"
    • Season 44 reveals the eponymous boxer (played by Matt Damon) for the Girlfriend of the Boxer in Every Boxing Movie Ever (Heidi Gardner), with the very Hollywood New England name of "Tommy. Ray. Donovan."
  • Quirky Ukulele: Parodied in the segment "Being Quirky with Zooey Deschanel", which spoofs Deschanel (played by Abby Elliot)'s spacey brand of "quirky". She's playing a ukulele in the theme song.
  • Raging Stiffie: A sketch about the high school walkout protests of 2018 has John Mulaney as a student who makes the mistake of wearing the wrong kind of pants, giving him problems just getting out from behind that desk, just because one of the girls touched his shoulder encouragingly. Not helping things is one female teacher who leans right into his face to question his commitment to the cause, after which...
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: James Austin Johnson's take on Trump, who's incapable of staying on topic and drones on in long Trump-style complaints, one seguing into the next, about everything but the subject at hand, until he just barely manages to loop back around and tie it all together at the end.note 
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Parodied (of all things) in a 2017 sketch with The Rock, where Mad Scientists are competing to build the "World's Most Evil Invention". While other scientists have built shrink rays and freeze rays to use for Cartoonish Supervillainy, such as stealing or destroying world monuments, entrant Roy (The Rock) has built a "child-molesting robot" that horrifies all of the evil villains present who want him kicked out since Even Evil Has Standards, only for Roy to calmly point out that being Eviler than Thou was supposedly the whole point of the competition and that if anything the other contestants are slacking. The sketch culminates in the revelation that the whole thing is a commercial for White Castle.
  • Real After All: A Christmas sketch from the Ryan Gosling episode has Ryan and Vanessa Bayer as a couple at a Christmas party that eventually reveal themselves to be a dangerously unhinged, Natural Born Killers style couple that practically take everyone hostage when the host implies Santa isn't real. Someone is forced to dress up as Santa to pacify them, and the woman insists on sitting on Santa's lap... in the style of a lapdance. The final shot implies that not only is Santa real, he's thoroughly spooked.
  • Reboot Snark:
    • One sketch parodies the Disney Live-Action Remakes with an edgy live-action reboot of Bambi, with host Dwayne Johnson as the titular deer, updated to be gruff, buff, and loaded with pistols to get revenge on his mother's hunters. Vin Diesel is cast as Thumper and Tyrese Gibson is Flower.
    • One of the John Mulaney episodes promotes the most recent sitcom to be rebooted, the in-universe sitcom Switcheroo, about a "Freaky Friday" Flip between a son and a dad with a disturbing focus on the son getting trapped in sexual situations with the mom. The reboot apparently doesn't do much to update itself, other than showing a newspaper that says "Trump is President" and then having the mom switch bodies with the dog.
    • The Ariana DeBose episode takes aim at parent company NBC's Darker and Edgier reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bel-Air, by creating a Parody Commercial for Urkel, a Darker and Edgier reboot of Family Matters. The narrator introduces the "cast" with "The goofy characters you loved in the '90s with absolutely none of the fun or the charm."
      Narrator: Rolling Stone raves, "Family Matters is the #1 worst choice for a sitcom to modernize like this."
  • Reclining Venus: Parodied in the Digital Short "Everyone's a Critic", when Andy Samberg and Paul Rudd paint nude portraits of each other in the Reclining Venus position and try to sell them at an art auction. The only problem is that anyone who looks at the resulting work is driven to violent, suicidal hysteria if the internal hemorrhaging does not kill them first.
  • Recurring Extra: The show often uses writers and production staff as extras in sketches. The show's "all hands on deck" mentality was more prevalent in its early days, but these days, SNL will use writers as honorary cast members, often if the monologue involves the celebrity host to interact with audience members (mostly the Q&A sessions where a celebrity fields questions from fans) or other sketches where they have more roles than cast members or need some background people if the sketch takes place somewhere where there is a high number of people (restaurants, busy streets, Congressional hearings, press conferences, classrooms, hospital waiting rooms, stores, etc). SNL's choreographer Danielle Flora has appeared as a recurring extra in sketches (often ones that are big musical numbers and they need dancers).
  • Reluctant Gift: In an episode from late 1992/early 1993, Barbara Bush is showing Hillary Rodham Clinton around the White House, but is reluctant to let go of the precious antiques and such that stay with the house.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated:
  • Retraux: "A Lady's Guide to Throwing a Party", from the January Jones episode in 2009, is shot in the style of an old educational film.
  • The Reveal: Much of season 42 had Steve Bannon represented as a hooded Grim Reaper-like character despite the show usually doing faithful representations of appearance and clothing. In season 43 it's finally revealed that under the black robe is a very accurately made-up and clothed Bill Murray.
  • Ridiculous Exchange Rates: In season 47's parody of Squid Game, the 45.6 billion won prize money works up to about US$400.note 
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: One sketch features Dana Carvey as a psychic who is never wrong competing on a quiz show and builds an early lead by giving all the answers before the host can ask the questions. Then he gets stuck because he keeps getting premonitions about a meteor and it's not the answer to any of the questions. It then turns out the meteor he was seeing wasn't the answer to a question; it was actually a warning that a meteor was about to strike the show's set. The other contestant gets knocked out when it lands and the psychic wins by default.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A sketch from 2015 parodied Disney's then-recent trend of remaking their animated movies in live action by reimagining Bambi as one. Dwayne Johnson (the episode's host) played the title character going after the hunters who killed his mother.
  • Romance on the Set: invokedParodied with Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney throughout Season 42, starting in the Dave Chapelle episode, where they begin dating. There are numerous callbacks and references to their "relationship" during the season, and by the end of the season they're married, have a kid together named "Little Lorne" and Kyle ends up in a love triangle between Leslie and Colin Jost.
  • Rule of Drama: Averted for laughs in the Forgotten TV Gems soap opera spoof "Supportive Women", in which all the women were consistently nice to each other and all drama was thereby averted. As host Reese De' What (Kenan Thompson) observed, "Viewers tunes in in whatever the opposite of droves is."
  • Running Gag: Generally specific to individual performers; some guest hosts have appeared so often that they've developed their own.
    • One particular gag was running roller captions over a bit. Done twice during Garrett Morris' songs ("An Die Musik", on Garrett's surprising song choice, and "Danny Boy", supposedly written by Morris himself in response), and twice during Buck Henry's monologues (one on how he was hired out of pity, and another on how he was brought back because the writers didn't need to work very hard for him).
    • Whenever a sketch takes place backstage, there are usually a bunch of showgirls, a llama, and a man dressed as Abraham Lincoln hanging out.
    • During the second half of Tim Meadows' tenure, there would inevitably be a joke regarding his Long Runner status whenever one of his old cast-mates came back to host the show.
    • From "Celebrity Jeopardy", "Potent Potables", the category that nobody ever picks (at least until the 40th Anniversary special). The "Black Jeopardy" equivalent is "White People".
    • A more recent one is the "Five-Timers Club", comprised of everyone who's reached their fifth hosting stint on SNL, and gets awarded a cigar and smoking jacket with a golden 5 on it. There may even be a Broadway-esque dance number.
    • During the Colin Jost/Michael Che iteration of "Weekend Update", the two have an annual Christmas tradition where they will end the segment with them telling jokes that were written for them by the other that they are now reading for the first time. Michael tends to write jokes for Colin that are incredibly racist, while Colin's jokes will most likely make Michael sound like a sexual deviant.
    • And of course, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
  • Santa's Sweatshop: In a parody of the play Glengarry Glen Ross, a higher-up elf played by Alec Baldwin (who is a Captain Ersatz of the salesman played by him in its film adaptation) comes in to harshly criticize some workshop elves after they complain about the inferior tools they are using and reminding them to "always be cobbling," a parody of the line in the play "always be closing".
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • Seth Meyers on Weekend Update every other line:
      (re: Justin Bieber's mugshot) "Well THIS looks like the face of a man who's learned his lesson!"
    • Michael Che's style of handling Weekend Update is two-thirds this and one-third N-Word Privileges. Sometimes both at once.
      Colin: A merit-based system is contrary to the ideals of America. My Irish ancestors didn't come to America because they were the best and the brightest; they came here because God took their potatoes away.
      Michael: At least they had a choice. President Trump said... (Beat due to massive audience reaction)
  • Satan Is Good: A recurring bit on "Weekend Update" has The Devil (played by Jason Sudeikis, not Jon Lovitz) invited on to comment on something heinous in the news, only for him to be appalled when he hears the act described and disavow having any part in it.
  • Satellite Character: Certain recurring characters are designed expressly as an add-on to the Special Guest.
    • Cecily Strong as the English Brainless Beauty Gemma, who's the girlfriend of many past hosts from Dwayne Johnson to Benedict Cumberbatch. This even extends to Kenan Thompson and Vanessa Bayer, who play the old friend of Gemma's boyfriend regardless of who it is and his wife. (Lampshaded in season 46, sometime after Bayer left the show, with her character officially Put on a Bus.)
    • Fred Armisen as Regine, the pretentious and overly-reactive girlfriend to Daniel Craig, Jason Sudeikis and several others, is a classic one.
    • Dana and Niff (Cecily and Bobby) are apparently followed to wherever they're working now by the unnervingly creepy Andrew (Taran Killam), who doesn't even get lines.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up:
  • The Scottish Trope: Season 36 covers the problems with Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which producer Julie Taymer (Kristen Wiig) attributes to the two prop department heads being named Mac and Beth.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At the end of the "High School Theater Show" sketch with Reese Witherspoon, Leslie Jones' character leaves the cringey show during intermission because she'd rather go home and watch Judge Judy.
  • Secret Word: A recurring joke in the show was the segment "Secret Word" in which two contestants in a game show had to guess hidden words based on clues from their celebrity partners.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • One Rita Delvecchio sketch centers on her as she gives out candy to trick or treaters on Halloween. When two kids show up as the Spartan cheerleaders (Cheri Oteri of course being the portrayer of both Rita and Arianna the female Spartan), Rita complains, "If I see that freakin’ skit one more time, I’m gonna put my foot through the TV."
    • During their music video "That's When You Break" that aired during the 40th Anniversary special, Andy Samberg mentions he and Adam Sandler "made a movie that bombed!"
    Sandler: (not singing) Why would you bring that up?
    • In the Chance the Rapper/Eminem episode, when Colin reports on Al Franken forcing a woman to kiss him for a sketch comedy sketch for Afghanistan:
    Colin: Come on, the troops in Afghanistan have it bad enough without you forcing them to watch sketch comedy. People can barely stay awake to watch sketches after "Weekend Update."
    • The Jason Bateman/Morgan Wallen episode features a sketch that mocks the incident in October 2020 where Wallen was dropped as the show's musical guest after being caught on social media violating COVID protocols with Wallen playing himself and owning up to his poor decision making.
    • The Benedict Cumberbatch/Arcade Fire episode has a sketch where it's revealed Chloe Fineman is the show's understudy for the other female cast members and she's shown doing impressions of most of them:
    Sarah Sherman: Wait, do I sound like a Jewish parrot?
  • Serial Escalation: The Sean Spicer segments from season 42 has Melissa McCarthy (as Spicer) doing crazier things every skit. In her first Spicer appearance, she picks up the press secretary podium and swings it at the reporters; in the following episode's cold open, she drives the podium into the reporter pool; and in Spicey's final appearance, she drives through the streets of New York on the podium.
  • Series Fauxnale:
    • The last episode of season five hosted by Buck Henry with musical guests Andrew Gold, Andrae Crouch, and Voices of Unity. It even ended with the remnants of the original "Not Ready for Primetime" cast running out of the studio as the "ON AIR" light flashed off for (what seemed like it would be) the final time.
    • ...Then along came NBC's decision to continue the show, which, at first with Jean Doumanian and her cast (save for Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo), was a bad idea. The last Doumanian-produced episode hosted by Bill Murray was also written as the last one...until Dick Ebersol stepped in as Doumanian's replacement.
    • The last episode of season 11 (hosted by Anjelica Huston and Billy Martin with musical guest George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic) was written as the series finale as well, due to the low ratings and terrible reviews the show had gotten during the season. The final scene had everyone in the cast (except for Jon Lovitz) locked in a room that Lorne had set on fire. When the show was given a second chance at life, the final scene (and everything about season 11) was written off as All Just a Dream ("...a horrible, horrible dream").
    • The last episode of season 20 (hosted by David Duchovny), much like season 11, had a large majority of cast members killed off (as seen in the "Beastman" cold opening and the last sketch where the popular male cast members all throw themselves in a polar bear cage exhibit at the zoo).
  • Serious Business:
    • The guy who ruins an otherwise perfect dinner with his future in-laws because he gets very intense on the subject of Shrek being the best animated film ever made.
    • In another sketch characters played by Matt Damon and Leslie Jones ruin a holiday dinner by fighting over old or new Weezer is better.
  • Shameful Source of Knowledge: From a Weekend Update segment on January 25, 2014:
    An 18 year old high school student in Florida, who was suspended after school officials learned that he was starring in adult films, has been allowed to return to classes. School officials are also stressing that the way they found out the student was starring in adult films "is not important."
  • Share Phrase: It would probably be easier to list the cast regulars and hosts who haven't gotten to deliver "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" than those who have.
  • She Is All Grown Up: The Janelle sketches headlined by Sasheer Zamata. Apparently Janelle's online live cam show still uses the same title card she had about 6 years ago, showing her in Nerd Glasses, braces and Nickelodeon-worthy braids, but then the show starts and Janelle turns out to be... well... Sasheer Zamata.
  • Shmuck Bait: One question in "Black Jeopardy" that should resonate across all races:
    Kenan: The answer is "Your barber says there's a 2-hour wait, but there's an empty seat up front".
    Chris: What is "aw HELL naw, there's a good reason your chair's empty!"
    Kenan: Correct!... You could come out looking like The Weeknd.
  • Shooting Gallery: Parodied in a sketch, where in between the typical criminals and civilians, a man in an 80s business suit named Kevin Roberts (played by Larry David), who inexplicably has a storyline, pops up, which confuses the rookie FBI agents going through the gallery.
  • Shoot the Television: On the Weekend Update airing just after the inauguration of Donald Trump:
    Michael Che: Welp, after Friday all of America had to go out and buy a new TV. (inset shows a smashed tv still showing said inauguration)
  • Shout-Out: Kate McKinnon as Rudolf Giuliani holds her hands before her chest with her fingers splayed out, in exactly the same manner that Max Schreck held his fingers in Nosferatu.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Fred Armisen always researches those elaborate street directions in "The Californians" to get them right.
    • The spoof of Batman in season 43 repeatedly mentions petty criminals being dangled by wires from gargoyles, cementing this Batman as the Arkham games version.
    • According to a comment by a former car dealership employee on the "December To Remember" sketch from Christmas 2020, many versions of the scenario have happened in Real Life.
    • The titles of various true crime and cult documentaries shown throughout Season 46’s "Murder Show" are all real. The ones in the lyrics however, are fictional.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts:
    • Morning Joe's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (Alex Moffat and Kate McKinnon), with reaction shots of any guests for effect.
    • Deconstructed with Nico Slobkin (Mikey Day) and Brie Bacardi (Heidi Gardner) a photogenic Instagram couple who break into a horrible on-air fight at the drop of a hat.
  • Signature Transition:
    • The iconic transition between the end of the opening skit and the opening credits is the host breaking character to yell "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
    • In both the Wayne's World films and SNL sketches, Wayne and Garth would initiate a flashback or fantasy sequence by waving their arms and saying "dillilu" several times, which would result in a wavy transition.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: On almost every skit parodying celebrity Jeopardy with involving Sean Connery, Sean Connery always makes fun of Trebek and goes out of his way to try to pick fights with him. While this is mostly one-sided as Trebek just seems to want to get the show over with Connery antagonizing him ever chance possible, Trebek is the at the very least really put-out by Connery's antics. In spite of the professional front he puts up, Connery is clearly getting under Trebek's skin.
  • Sketch Comedy: Not the first of its kind, but definitely one of the most popular.
  • Slapstick Knows no Gender:
    • Aidy Bryant tends to get caught in the physical side of the comedy quite a bit, like the time she's blown across the landscape in the "Hello" parody. And then there's "Office Christmas Party".
      "Carol from New Media just dove into the Christmas tree!"
    • Vanessa Bayer tends to be subjected to something horrible in the "Gemma" sketches.
  • Sleeping Single: Invoked by Bea in "Dream Home Cousins" (April 9, 2022). It was her idea to replace the king bed with three single beds for her son and his wife when designing the house.
  • Sluggish Sloths: One sketch subverted this. A zookeeper introduces a video made by high school students to teach people more about sloths. The video is a heavy metal video depicting sloths as raucous party animals and violent hoodlums. After the video, the zookeeper says "That's not entirely accurate."
  • Smelly Skunk: In the Daniel Kaluuya / St. Vincent episode, Kate McKinnon plays Pepé Le Pew who sprays Matt Gaetz with his stench. Gaetz actually likes it a bit.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Played for Laughs, of course, on the "Sharon Stone/Pearl Jam" episode (Season 17, Episode 17, original airdate April 11, 1992). Sharon's character is sitting at a bar and guys are walking up to her and being utterly terrified to speak to her, with Jon Lovitz' character being the only one brave enough to actually sit down and talk to her.
  • Soapbox Sadie: The "High School Theatre" sketch involves a production delivered by a group of high school students who have clearly just recently discovered both the concept of avant garde and various issues such as climate change, homophobia, transgender, and so forth, and as a result behave as though they personally invented them. The resulting production is a series of skits that are the worst combination of insufferably self-righteous, poorly informed and utterly pretentious, which their long-suffering parents are forced to endure while snarking and complaining from the audience.
    • In one "Woodbridge High School Experimental Theater" sketch, the Soapbox Sadie performers all in unison repeatedly chant "Who runs the world? Whites." While this is presumably supposed to be a searing indictment of white privilege, one of the parents points out that, since all the performers happen to be white, this has the unintended effect of making it seem like they're just bragging.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Played for Laughs with the recurring Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney relationship storyline - they somehow have a son who's grown to the age of six during season 42, and by season 43 he's old enough to go to college (and played by surprise guest Jay Pharoah!)
  • Soap Punishment: Sean Spicer as played by Melissa McCarthy attacked a reporter with a Super Soaker full of soap water to wash out his "filthy lying mouth".
  • Speed Sex: One musical number is done as a "sequel" to the classic "Baby It's Cold Outside", with a Time Skip of twelve minutes.
  • Spin-Off: SNL Korea, a localized Korean version, is practically a carbon copy of the original, right down to the use of the Grand Central-inspired set for the host monologue. The only real difference is that, because Korean cable shows only have one brief commercial break, the audience gets to watch what happens backstage as the cast and crew reset for a new sketch.
  • Spiritual Successor: Certain recurring skits feel like successors to older recurring skits; Bill Hader's "Vincent Price's holiday special" is about Vincent Price having to wrangle Cloudcuckoolander celebrities into putting on a good show, just like Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek in Celebrity Jeopardy.
  • Spoofed with Their Own Words: The famous skit about Sarah Palin during the 2008 U.S. presidential race. It very intentionally consisted almost entirely of actual Palin lines from her interview with Katie Couric. A couple of judicious additions and Tina Fey's delivery were all it took.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • With Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi gone by the fifth season, it was left to Bill Murray to carry most of the workload (and Gilda Radner to an extent).
    • Eddie Murphy was this during the early eighties, to the point where he became the first person to host while still a castmember. This did not go over with his fellow castmates, especially when he opened with "Live from New York, it's The Eddie Murphy Show".
    • By the late 2010’s, the show has pretty much become “The Kate McKinnon Show” after her rise to fame for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. She usually gets a round of applause just from arriving on stage mid-sketch, and during the Trump administration frequently cross dressed so she could play a male member of Trump’s cabinet (usually playing Co-Dragons with Beck Bennett’s Mike Pence even when the actual person she played wasn’t anywhere near that) and be able to headline the cold opensnote .
  • Staging an Intervention: In a Weekend Update segment.
    Seth Meyers: NBC announced that Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will host a primetime special on the network called A Toast to 2013 in which they recount their favorite stories from the past year. But [whispering behind his hand] shh, it's actually an intervention.
  • The Starscream: When Beck Bennet plays Vice President Mike Pence, many of his jokes seem to come down to him just biding his time until he can take office, such as this excerpt from a dialogue with Kate McKinnon as Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
    Sessions: What're we going to do, Mike?
    Pence: The important thing is to stay calm. In a couple months, the president will be back to normal.
    Sessions: *incredulously* How's that?
    Pence: Because it will be me.
  • Straight Gay: Seth Meyers is revealed to be this, after stopping Stefon's wedding and claiming Stefon for himself.
  • Stealth Pun: Season 44 has a Game of Thrones parody with the odd casting choice of Pete Davidson as the (much older) High Sparrow. Pete has famously been on marijuana, which would make him a different sort of High Sparrow.
  • Stepford Smiler: Downplayed and implied with Kristen Wiig's mom character in "Christmas Morning"- "It hurt so bad, but I didn't even scream, 'cause I keep the pain inside of me!"
  • Stepford Suburbia: A recurring plot element involves a gathering of suburban housewives that eventually leads to this disturbing reveal about their reality, barring a certain level of ridiculousness. One episode has Brie Larson as the new one in a neighborhood where all the women already have the same 90s-style "soft waterfall in the front but knives in the back" hairdo... and not by choice.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Alex Trebek and Sean Connery from the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketches. Trebek tries to host a normal game show while Connery makes jokes about Trebek's mother.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Christina Applegate episode of season 38 has a sketch about the legend of Odysseus, where the sirens successfully get the ship to crash against the rocks... and explode.
  • Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks:
    • Deliberately parodied with "Dongs All Over the World".
    • One sketch is about the funeral of a man who dabbled in hip-hop songwriting despite being incredibly white. One song is actually titled "This Is My Butt".
    • John Goodman and Kenan Thompson sing a soul tune called "All I Want for Christmas is Booty" during the monologue.
    • Played for Laughs in season 44, with a music video about what happens when Political Overcorrectness hits.
      Shake that booty (If you wanna!) Shake that booty! (It's your choice!)
      We all wanna touch your booty but we will respect your voice!
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • One sketch had to be written in a hurry by Beck Bennet and Kyle Mooney due to taking place at the weekend after Day Without Women. Looks ok at first, but then the dialogue suffers badly before going deliberately anvilicious.
    • The Woodbridge High School Experimental Theatre sketches, in which the skits performed by the students are the worst combination of self-righteous, poorly-informed, pretentious and, well, rubbish.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: Many a skit have featured this, with the most notable being Mr. Bill, a clay feature getting tormented by Mr. Sluggo and denied help by his "friend" Mr. Hands, as well as Eddie Murphy's parody of Gumby as a drinking and smoking cynic and Mr. Robinson, an inner-city parody of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
  • Subverted Sitcom: A sketch featured host John Mulaney as the creator of a 1980s sitcom called Switcheroo, which seems to be a typical "Freaky Friday" Flip comedy about a boy and dad switching bodies and trying to hide the secret from the mom. Then we see more clips of the sitcom, which put more and more focus on how the boy has sex with the mom while in the dad's body. The interviewer gets creeped out talking about the series, but the creator nonchalantly defends his decision to focus so heavily on the sexual implications of this premise (while also revealing some disturbing childhood facts). The creator mentions an episode in the reboot where the dog and the mom switch bodies while implying similar gross things, as well as an upcoming crossover with Dateline. Needless to say, the sitcom wasn't popular in-universe and the cast members are all in group therapy (except for the son, "little Andy Cunanan" who left the business).
  • Suck Out the Poison: One sketch parodies Indiana Jones, with Special Guest Dwayne Johnson as the hero who keeps making the sidekick (Pete Davidson) suck out the poison every time they're hit by venom darts, leading to a jarring case of Stay in the Kitchen when they keep preventing the beautiful professor played by Kate Mckinnon from doing it, as much as she really, really wants to.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • From the season 39 premiere, a mock game show called "New Cast Member or Arcade Fire" where Special Guest Tina Fey has to figure out which of the people brought before her is a new addition to the show or the musical guest that week. For some reason Kenan Thompson as the game show host turns downright hostile any time the new members start fangirling over Tina.
      Kenan: "HEY!! NO LINES!! You get NO LINES! That's something you gotta EARN!!"
    • From Weekend Update:
      Cecily: A river in Scotland was accidentally flooded with whiskey when a bottling plant accidentally released more than 1700 gallons of liquor. Said one fish (terrible Scottish accent) 'YEW DON'T KNOW MEH!'"
      (whole scene grinds to a halt as Seth and Cecily both start laughing)
    • Leslie Jones pulls this off like a boss:
      "I want a guys who likes flowers. But don't send me flowers. Cos I DON'T like flowers. Cos they stink of DEATH! COS YOU CUT 'EM UP AND THEY DEAD!! I GOT A BAG FULL OF ROTTING GARBAGE DEAD FLOWERS!! A BAG FULL OF DEATH!!"
      (frame out to Colin Jost looking completely stupefied)
  • Sunroof Shenanigans: The "Prom Limo" sketch has some drunken high schoolers standing up in a sunroof to try to banter with strangers and sing. Naturally, it ends with an overpass decapitation.
  • Superpower Lottery: Played for Laughs with the spoof of Stranger Things, with Eleven (Natalie Portman) meeting up with a whole bunch of randomly numbered kids with all sorts of abilities and weaknesses. Cecily Strong is a '80s Hair-wearing teen who can read minds, causing her to fart.
  • Surprise Party:
    • A recurring sketch is about a group of people planning a surprise [birthday/anniversary/retirement/etc.] party for one of their friends, and Kristen Wiig's character is so very very excited about it she just can't keep still - or keep her mouth shut when the character in question appears.
    • Jeremy Irons's guest appearance featured a skit in which Sherlock Holmes' friends try to throw a surprise party for him. Turns out they can't surprise the clever Holmes with anything!
    • A Christmas-related sketch from Season 13 has the Apostles giving Jesus a surprise birthday party, but they have a hard time being able to surprise him.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Despite being a comedy show, this is frequently played out in its skits and commercial parodies:
    • One sketch features a send-up of High School Musical as Troy (Zac Efron) has to break it to a graduating class of East High that if you try breaking out into song in college, not only will no one join in, but people will treat you like a lunatic.
    • Likewise, some skits would have Norm Macdonald placed in Evita or West Side Story (1961) and baffled at people suddenly breaking into song. "What the hell was that?"
    • In a sketch parodying Peanuts, Lucy attempts the old Running Gag of pulling the football away when Charlie Brown (Brendan Fraser) tries to kick it, but when Charlie Brown lands, he cracks his skull open, and everyone gets angry with Lucy for causing him to be severely injured, and desperately trying to keep him to hang on until the paramedics arrive.
    • In one sketch, a military executive brings president George Washington (played by Russell Brand) into the present day using a secret military time machine in hopes that he could bring an end to the arguments over the founding fathers. While a tad exaggerated, considering he starts beating up everybody around him, Washington's reaction over being transported into another time period with no warning was fairly realistic as he questions where he is and who the people around him are out of fear.
    • Another skit parodies the famous scene from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" where Grandpa Joe gets out of bed and starts singing when Charlie (played by Kristen Stewart) reveals he won the 5th Golden Ticket. Before Grandpa Joe can really get into the song, however, Charlie becomes absolutely befuddled that his grandfather could walk the entire time and had been essentially forcing Charlie to drop out of school to earn a living for the household while he had essentially been lounging around in bed all day. When Grandpa Joe tries to brush off Charlie's indignant and justified anger, Charlie makes it clear that he is not taking him to the Chocolate Factory and storms out of the room when his other grandpa and one of his grandmas revealed that they could walk also.
    • Another "Willy Wonka" themed skit introduces Willy's accountant brother Glen (Al Gore) who is yelling about how the factory is "hemorrhaging money" due to Willy's insistence on such things as a chocolate river, spending a billion dollars on a machine to simply change giant chocolate bars into smaller ones and the countless health code violations of having a pack of mysterious foreign helpers around as the staff (without green cards). When he hears Willy is about to hand control of the factory to an eight-year old boy, Glen hits the roof. Charlie meanwhile, decides he's going to go in for the profits and instructs Glen to start seeing about getting some cheap Mexican-made chocolate they can pass off as expensive.
    • The "Hero Song" sketch features Andy Samberg as a businessman singing about how he's distressed by crime in the city and donning a superhero cape and mask to clean up the streets. Until he finds a Damsel in Distress played by Amy Adams being menaced by a mook played by Jason Sudeikis. In mid-line, the singing hero takes a punch to the face, at which point the mook proceeds to beat the hero. Brutally. For over a minute.
    • In one of its commercial parodies, Undercover Office Potty, a man is provided with a lamp that doubles as a portable toilet so that he can use the bathroom in the office and continue working. A typical SNL bit would have his co-workers being blissfully unaware and his boss complimenting his increased work production, but instead, everyone immediately notices the stench and orders him to get rid of the lamps. When he tries the same thing with oversized office equipment, he gets the same result, culminating in his fed-up, horrified, and disgusted boss firing him.
    • As overkill as it ended up being for the sake of comedy, the famous sketch where Chris Farley plays a man that gets mad at finding out he was in a Product Switcheroo Ad do showcases the fact that people sometimes don't like being swindled like that. There's a reason why these kind of ads have been struggling recently, not the least of which is the fact that people who get pissed off can make it public as fast as they can place it on the Internet, like this example here can attest.
    • Two "Black Jeopardy" sketches (one with Drake as a Black-Canadian named Jared, the other with Chadwick Boseman as King T'Challa) have the characters played by the hosts perform poorly because, even though they have dark skin, they are natives of other countries and, thus, are completely unfamiliar with African-American culture.
    • The early-90's recurring skit "The Denise Show" featured a teenage boy moping over his ex-girlfriend and doing whatever he could think of to get her back. Despite the comedy setting, it's made abundantly clear that Stalking Is Love is not true—his father blasts him for his behavior, Denise herself repeatedly tells him to leave her alone, his new girlfriend dumps him because he won't get over her, and the final skit has him mentioning that a restraining order has been filed against him.
    • A sketch where a medieval hot oil scalder teaches his son how to perform the job during a siege of their castle has the scalder laugh as he recalls how he accidentally poured molten lead on his father's leg when he started out. His son asks what happened and the scalder replies in a serious tone that his father died as a result.
    • A "Stranger Things" skit has Mike, Lucas, and Dustin about to venture into the Upside Down only to be stopped by Lucas' parents, who noticed that their son has been missing for days. The adults chide the kids for being out late while kidnappers are roaming around, do not believe them about the Demogorgon and the Upside Down, and are not any more reassured by them getting supervised by Joyce(who went crazy from the disappearance of her son) and Chief Hopper (who they do not know and are uncomfortable with him calling the kids some of his closest friends). The skit ends with Lucas being taken home by his parents while they comment on the weirdness of the situation.
    • A parody of an enhancement drug ad starts out with a man, played by Dwayne Johnson, talking about the miracle of "xentrax", a drug recommended to him by his colleague that cures erectile dysfunction. However, when Johnson's character tries getting a prescription for xentrax, his bewildered doctor points out the dangers of the drug, calls out Johnson for taking sketchy medical advice and responsibly refuses to write a prescription that could lose him his medical license and get a patient killed. Unfortunately Johnson keeps aggressively persisting and beats the poor doctor up for all his troubles at the end of the skit.
    • A 2019 Christmastime Macy's commercial parody makes the point that children often find the cute Christmas outfits their parents buy and make them wear to family gatherings to be uncomfortable for a variety of reasons, and sometimes can't get out of them in time to go to the bathroom. In addition, those clothes can cause adults problems, like a marital couple's squabble over the father's inability to get a pair of boots on their daughter expanding into the father's reluctance to visit his in-laws because the inevitable family drama, and "onesies with so many buttons you'll keep them in a fully loaded diaper rather than have to take it off and put it on again".
    • A social distancing Santa's Workshop skit where Santa and Mrs. Claus talk to the kids through giant hamster balls ends in disaster when the two actors playing the respective characters keep falling over and hurting themselves in the unsecured balls and destroying the set, with Santa even sustaining a nose bleed. The family who came in at the beginning of the skit understandably refuse to let their daughter near those unsafe conditions.
    • In this parody of the ubiquitous "Buy A Car For Christmas" commercials, a man's wife is furious when he surprises her with a new Lexus, not just because he made such a large purchase without discussing it with her, but because they can't actually afford it. His neighbor is equally angry, as he loaned him the money for it in the belief that he needed it for emergency expenses.note 
    • One sketch centers around a fictional episode of The Muppet Show where, after Statler and Waldorf do their usual heckling, two security guards suddenly appear and tell them to stop disrupting the show. Then when the duo try to defend themselves by pointing out how bad the show is, the guards remind them no one is forcing them to be there and they can just leave.
    • One sketch has the citizens from a Gotham neighborhood up in arms because, despite being the town superhero, Batman keeps beating people up for random crimes like petty theft. Naturally, the people aren't happy that such minor offenses are met with such retaliation as broken jaws and getting dangled from a building for hours.
    • One sketch focuses on a city councilman (played by Oscar Isaac) explaining all the problems with the PAW Patrol being the only team of rescue workers in Adventure Bay, and how a group of talking dogs isn't a good replacement for actual cops and firefighters. In addition, the counselman questions the idea of Ryder, a ten-year-old boy, being in charge of the team, as a 911 call reveals he wasn't sure how to handle a man's girlfriend while she was suffering from an overdose.
    Councilman: Mayor Goodway, the numbers don't lie. 258 unsolved murders. 36 carjackings a day. 0 sex crime units in our police force because the PAW Patrol and their ten-year-old boss don't know what sex is!

     Tropes T–Z 
  • Take That!: Michael Keaton on his episode of Celebrity Jeopardy!. When asked to write his favorite food in Final Jeopardy!, he responded with "Val Kilmer Sucks" and he wagered "George Clooney Sucks".
  • Take That, Us: The Cold Open for the Season 48 is filled with this, as the sketch centers around a fake "ManningCast" with Peyton (host Miles Teller) and Eli (Andrew Dismukes) watching the season's first sketch and the two of them mocking several of show's conventions over the last few seasons (over-relying on Kate McKinnon, continuing to mock Donald Trump even though Joe Biden is now the president, Stunt Casting celebrities for politicians, etc.)
  • Teacher/Student Romance:
    • The Season 35 classroom sketch with Tina Fey and Justin Bieber. Deconstructed when the student (Bieber) catches wise to what his teacher is doing and threatens to sue her for sexual harassment.
    • A Season 32 sketch where episode host Annette Bening plays a teacher who's in love with an apathetic student (Andy Samberg) who doesn't realize that he's in a relationship with his teacher.
    • On the Josh Brolin/Gotye episode from Season 37, a drunk teacher (Brolin) during Booker T. Washington High's prom confessed that he's in a relationship with a student (played by Nasim Pedrad).
    • This sketch has one such case go to trial, where the real joke is that not only was it completely consensual considering both parties' attitude, but even the judge clearly approves.
    • One sketch has Miley Cyrus as a completely detached emo student who only shows an interest in poetry just so she can get in front of the class and start snuggling up to the Hippie Teacher.
    • There's also Amy Schumer's teacher and her student in the porn parody sketch, who keep getting interrupted by a student (Aidy Bryant) who has actual school-related questions for the teacher.
  • Test Kiss: In a the episode hosted by Gal Gadot two lesbians, Megan and Dre (played by Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon) sail to Themyscira (the home of Wonder Woman) expecting that the amazons living there will be all lesbians as well; they are severely disappointed when it turns out that none of them are. Diana eventually kisses Dre to see if they feel anything, but they don't.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: One "Former Porn Stars" sketch has special guest Jonah Hill as "legendary" porn director Martin Porn-cese, responsible for such "famous" films as Bangs of New York, Raging Boner, The Departed (Hymen) and The Wolf of Wall Street.
  • They Killed Kenny Again:
    • Mr. Bill, the little Play-Doh man who died a violent death in every sketch at the hands of...well, a giant pair of hands known as Mr. Hands!
    • Also Bobby Moynihan's character, Ass Dan, who, despite being dead since 2009, has been appearing in the Under Underground commercials alive and well, until they freeze-frame the shot and play funereal music as the caption: "Ass Dan 1981 - [whatever year he died. So far, he's died once in 2009, twice in 2010, twice in 2011, and once in 2012, so that's six times if you're keeping score at home].
    • Chad has died at least twice: in the haunted mansion sketch with Adele, and the Mars colonization sketch with Elon Musk.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In the "High School Theater Show" sketch with Reese Witherspoon, Leslie Jones' character notices one of the actors is planted in the audience and groans, "This is gonna suck."
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Practically a SNL staple character-wise. Some of the historic pairings on the show's history include the Wild and Crazy Guys, the Butabi brothers, Wayne and Garth, Dyke and Fats, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump...
    • There's a bunch of behind-the-scenes clips (part of the 40th anniversary celebrations) depicting Beck Bennet and Kyle Mooney (both of whom joined at the same time in season 39) as this. It's taken to its logical conclusion in a "Leslie and Kyle Romance on the Set" sketch in season 43.invoked
    • Similarly, Kate Mckinnon and Aidy Bryant get paired up a lot even though they're the only ones most likely to break each other mid-sketch (and in Kate's case that says a lot). Just watch any of the "Mrs Rafferty" sketches, which involve Kate and Aidy sitting opposite each other from beginning to end.
    • To a lesser extent, Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, both of whom joined up at roughly the same time, but it wasn't till their roles as Donald Jr and Eric Trump that people started to take notice. Other famous duos they've been cast as include Prince Harry and William, and even Ernie and Bert! This was actually lampshaded during Scarlett Johansson's monologue when several cast members crumble into dust. Alex is one of the victims and Chris Redd mistakenly calls him Mikey. Ego Nwodim points this out, to which Chris replies "it's the same damn thing."
  • Throwing Off the Disability: In the Christmas edition of "What's Up With That", one of the random characters added to the dance numbers is Tiny Tim (with Ebenezer Scrooge right behind), who drops his crutch and starts popping and locking like a boss.
  • Title Sequence: One thing that SNL has been known to do, constantly, is to update the opening title sequence drastically (as well as the logo) from time to time, in order to look fresh. Only one thing has remained consistent in the sequences, which is that they always feature scenes of New York City locations and goings on,note  either going about their business, showboating for the camera, or being a part of the sequence skits as they were in season 29. Even the Theme Tune has changed frequently, only starting in season 12 to have a more consistent melody to it (and starting in season 24 to also feature a sax solo halfway through that has extended itself over the years). It's also rather long, which, as this video demonstrates, allows for time to prepare the set.
  • Tomato Surprise: One Christmas episode hosted by Amy Adams is about the Dundee sisters, a trio of attractive singing flappers in the '50s who turn out to be complete CloudCuckooLanders who are ready to eat garbage if they lose a bet (and are way too eager to). They're actually three raccoons, whose Christmas wish came true, giving them human form for one night.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Alex Moffat's depiction of Eric Trump uses this frequently, as when he's not struggling to understand how FunDip and fidget spinners work, he's often shooting very simple and innocent statements about his father that completely undermine his brother's (Mikey Day's) prior arguments. (Which also counts as Saying Too Much.)
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • A spoof of the upcoming Jersey Shore remake, Floribama Shore, set during Hurricane Irma. None of the occupants really take any precautions beyond staying indoors. The sketch ends with some debris being blown through a window and killing one of them.
    • Sam Rockwell appears as the presenter on a children's science show, with two kids brought on set to assist him. They could use some assistance of their own, putting it lightly.
    • Typically the game show spoofs will have someone like this among the contestants - in "Celebrity Jeopardy" it's usually all of them. Except Sean Connery, who's just being an arsehole.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriouslyinvoked: In one sketch during the 2019 episode with Emma Stone as host, she played an actress who does this with her bit part on a gay porn shoot. Her "role" is simply being the wife who's cheated on by her husband with her godson, appearing only briefly twice (to leave, then come back and catch them together). However, she goes all out trying to connect with her character, imagining her entire backstory and is moved to tears at the end (though the director doesn't care at all, her fellow actors are impressed).
  • Top Ten List:
  • Transparent Closet: The daytime talkshow Right Side of the Bed with Gracelynn and Cory (Cecily Strong and Taran Killam respectively). They're supposed to be married, but then you notice the way Cory paws at Gracelynn like she was a guy...
    Special Guest Scarlett Johansson: (on the phone) I'm on that talk show with the gay guy and his mom!
  • Trash the Set: Some SNL sketches do end with a character laying waste to the cheap, flimsy sets and props on the show, most notably the sketches featuring Molly Shannon's neurotic Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher or Chris Farley's loud, obnoxious motivational speaker, Matt Foley.
  • Troll: In the "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches, Sean Connery is easily the smartest and most lucid of the contestants, but he's more interested in getting under Alex Trebek's skin than actually winning the game. So dedicated he is to the idea of trolling Trebek, Connery wrote an album of dirty limericks for the sole purpose of being eligible for the "Rock & Roll" edition and even turned down a role in Harry Potter to be able to attend another edition. His favored insult towards Trebek are his many, many variations of Your Mom jokes.
  • Trolling Translator: In a 1987 sketch, Kevin Nealon plays a translator live-translating a joint press conference by Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev, but he doesn't speak Russian very well. To cover Nealon "translates" Gorbachev saying "I'm now going to start speaking in a very obscure Russian dialect that very few have ever heard of and it will be impossible for your translator to translate." (paraphrased.)
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Invoked in the Woodbridge High School Experimental Theater sketches, but while the students clearly believe this the effect is usually less "incomprehensible" and more "not really that good."
  • Twofer Token Minority: Parodied in the sketch "Simu & Bowen", where the joke is that Bowen Yang's Overly Narrow Superlative representation milestones are worth more than Simu Liu's because Yang is a gay Asian. So while Simu Liu gets an award for being the first Asian to be deadpan on a theme park ride, Bowen Yang gets the same award for being the first gay Asian to do it.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The "Matt Shatt" sketches, where a gorgeous woman (usually played by the host) brings up her loser husband (Mikey Day). The more dorky things come up about him, the more everybody tries to guess how the wife could be attracted to him, such as suggesting he must have a Gag Penis or that she must be blind.
  • Undignified Death: A Halloween Episode featured four ghosts singing about their means of death, except one of them (played by Chance the Rapper) keeps avoiding his turn to sing. After a lot of convincing, he reveals his means of death: he developed a fetish after sitting on a 9-volt battery as a child, and when he built up a tolerance to that, he shoved a metal pipe up his ass and climbed up to get struck by a lightning bolt, getting his insides fried.
  • The Unintelligible:
    • Vanessa Bayer as Dawn Lazarus, who doesn't mince her words so much as dice them up and serve them with a smile. It takes a rewatch or two but it can be interpreted.
    • Cecily Strong as Representative Susan Collins became this, in a Meet the Press cold open from May 2019:
      Susan Collins: Well, you just bring it on, Chuck, 'cause if you think Susan Collins is a pushover, well, then, you...[folds up like a woodlouse and starts mumbling unintelligibly into her own jacket]
    • David Lynch (voiced by Phil Hartman) was portrayed as this when he called Kyle MacLachlan during his monologue to chew him out for casually revealing the ending to Twin Peaks.
  • Unintelligible Accent: In "Don' You Go Rounin' Roun to Re Ro", Bill Hader plays an Action Hero who was just released from prison and is forced back into the criminal underworld by his old boss. The joke comes less than a third of the way into the video when their British accents become so intense that their words become muffled, sounding like unintelligible grunts, laughs or mad barking. Hilariously, this is considered a plus by film critics.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Discussed; in typical pompous and self-righteous fashion, the Woodbridge High School Experimental Theater trope announce in one sketch that in support of LGBTQA+ rights, all proceeds from their latest show will be going to... Neil Patrick Harris. In the audience, one of their parents perplexedly notes that he doesn't actually need them to do that. Also overlaps with a bit with Condescending Compassion since (a) they're presumably only donating the money to him because he's gay, with the unspoken assumption that because he's gay, he automatically needs their charity and/or (b) they're presumably only donating to him because, for all their smug piousness, they don't actually know of and can't be bothered to find out about any more deserving individuals or charities assisting the LGBTQA+ community.
  • Video Call Fail: The "Zoom Church" sketch made in the beginning months of the pandemic is about a pastor doing his best to hold worship over Zoom. It's incredibly difficult because his hundreds of constituents don't know how to hit the mute button, resulting in inappropriate interjections throughout the sketch.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot:
    • An infamous Season 20 sketch titled "Rookie Cop", where a murder victim is apparently so gruesome that all the cops/coroners/reporters/etc. who see pictures vomit everywhere. It was later parodied on 30 Rock.
    • In the Mark Jensen Christmas sketch, Will Ferrell was singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" while spinning around on a rotating platform. Gradually he became more and more nauseated until he vomited profusely.
    • The "indiscretion" part is arguable when it's shot in grainy night vision camera, as one of those horror movie campaigns where they use the audience reactions as part of the promos, but Melissa Mccarthy is clearly shown throwing up more than once as part of her epic Freak Out.
    • In the cold open of Season 46's Bill Burr/Jack White episode, Joe Biden (Jim Carrey) has a Teleporter Accident and ends up becoming the fly that sat on Vice President Mike Pence's head for two minutes during the 2020 Vice Presidential debate — then undergoing a Slow Transformation into Jeff Goldblum in a spoof of The Fly (1986). In keeping with the movie, when asked by the debate moderator for closing remarks Biden/Goldblum vomits before declaring "Be afraid! Be very afraid! And live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
  • Watched It for the Representation: Parodied In-Universe with the fake trailer "Lesbian Period Drama": Despite the Cliché Storm, wooden acting, and the leads played by straight women, "Lesbians Monthly" says, "Sure, I mean, I'm gonna see it."
    You get one a year. Make the most of it.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • The "Sober Caligula" sketch has Taran Killiam in just a loincloth and a horse head mask.
    • Vladimir Putin, played by Beck Bennet, is shirtless all the time. Nobody seems fazed by his appearance, even the judges in a courtroom.
    • The popular "Funkytown Debate" sketch, due to using Word Salad Lyrics everywhere including character names, has Jay Pharoah as part of Captain Catfish's (Will Ferrell) staff Diaper Jones. He really is in a diaper.
  • Waxing Lyrical:
    • Bernie Sanders (Larry David), in the Season 43 sketch "Message from the DNC". When the Democrats suggest that Bernie transfer his base of voters to a new leader, he says "No. If you liked it, you should've put a ring on it. Pass."
    • Season 37 had Maya Rudolph return in the role of Beyonce, talking about the birth of her first child (Blue Ivy Carter):
      "I asked the doctor 'Did I Have A Boy?' The doctor said 'No, you had a Single Lady'."
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Parodied on the banned TV Funhouse cartoon "Mediaopoly"; late in the song, after exposing many dark secrets about General Electric, a "technical difficulties" title card appears, implying GE censored the sketch. However, it's actually part of the sketch, since the chorus keeps singing afterwards. The singers even lampshade the fact that We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties is sometimes used as a cheap way to censor out anything that the sponsors or network may find controversial.
  • We Don't Suck Anymore: Tom Hanks says this about the show during his monologue from 1996, after SNL improved following the disastrous 1994-95 season.
  • Weird Moon: The Halloween episode of season 45. One sketch is about a full moon that keeps interrupting a dance lesson, and closing the curtains in front of it just makes it move to an open window. It's an even bigger problem when the dance instructor turns out to be a werewolf.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Sometimes the punchline in Weekend Update is just Colin Jost with a knowing "" Which repaints the whole joke in a different light.
    "Today was National Compliment Day... dad."
  • Wham Line:
    • Played for Laughs, not surprisingly, any time they parody soap operas, like "The Californians"
      Pete Davidson: What's with that accent?... I'm from Encino and I've never heard anything like that before.
    • In the fourth "Black Jeopardy" sketch, Tom Hanks appears as a rural Trump supporter named Doug and Darnell Hayes (Kenan) thinks he'll be the most disastrous white contestant yet:
      Darnell: "They out here saying, the new iPhone wants your thumbprint 'for your protection." (beeping) Oh, okay then, Doug.
      Doug: What is, "I don't think so. That's how they get you".
      Darnell: (stunned) YES! Yes! That's it!
    • From the "What Even Matters Anymore?" sketch:
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: In the Feb. 4, 2017 cold open, a cranky Trump (Alec Baldwin) agrees to call other heads-of-state without getting briefed first, asking what could go wrong.
  • Wicked Toymaker: One of the first recurring sketches was a segment called "Consumer Probe". The interviewer always wound up interviewing toymaker Irwin Mainway (Dan Aykroyd), who made and marketed children's toys like "Bag o' Glass" and "General Tranh's Secret Police Confession Kit".
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: "Dongs All Over The World". Except that Anna Kendrick was already in the song, and her bit leads to a wild Icona Pop appearing.
    • Also paried to an absurd extent in "Rap Song", where so many Wild Rappers appear that the lead singer becomes frustrated.
  • Win Her a Prize: There is a sketch that pokes fun at this where legendary quarterback Tom Brady struggles to win a prize for his girlfriend at the carnival.
  • Wishing for More Wishes: In a sketch John Goodman plays a fisherman who catches a wish-granting fish. He hires a team of lawyers to craft his first two wishes so that they don't backfire; his third wish is to pay his lawyers. The lawyers' fee is 100 wishes.
  • Wolf Whistle: In Weekend Update for Season 47 episode 5, Colin Jost says the International Handball Federation says that female players can wear biking shorts instead of bikini bottoms, but the referees will have to whistle with a Wolf Whistle.
  • Word Association Test: The seventh episode of Season 1, hosted by Richard Pryor, had a sketch in which a prospective black employee (Pryor) is interviewed by a white boss (Chevy Chase). Everything goes normally until partway through the test, when Chase breaks out the black racial epithets. Pryor counters with white racial epithets, escalating to:
    Interviewer: Jungle bunny!
    Mr. Wilson: Honky!
    Interviewer: Spade!
    Mr. Wilson: Honky honky!
    Interviewer: Nigger!
    Mr. Wilson: Dead honky!
    (In the end, Pryor's character gets the job.)
    • It should be noted that this sketch was cited (by Tina Fey, on a Season 31 episode that aired on the same day Richard Pryor died) as the sketch that solidified SNL's reputation as the "edgy, outrageous late-night sketch show".
  • Working Class Anthem: Parodied in "Corporate Nightmare Song", where four Emo employees in an office job start out complaining about the "working stiff" lifestyle, until one by one they're all won over by it.
  • World of Ham: Just about every cast member will overact like hell for some laughter.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Every now and then on Weekend Update, often for the sake of a punchline, but some are salvageable:
    Cecily Strong: Two dogs from Oklahoma went for a three-block ride in their owner's car, after one of the dogs accidentally knocked the vehicle into gear, and the other dog accidentally opened up a map to Las Vegas, and then the first dog (Colin Jost laughing from offscreen) accidentally put on sunglasses, and then the second dog accidentally put on "Bad to the Bone", and then they hit a tree.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Quite a few sketches revolve around this one person that probably shouldn't be there.
  • Wrong Insult Offence: In his opening monologue in 2017, Kumail Nanjiani note  complained about racists telling him to "go back to India"...because he's never been there; he's from Pakistan.
    Kumail Nanjiani: Here's my problem with most racism: it's the inaccuracy. That's what bugs me. I'm like, "Do the research! Put in the work! You will see the benefits!" ... if someone was like, "Go back to Pakistan, which was part of India until 1947, and is now home to the world's oldest salt mine," I would be like, "That guy seems to know what he's talking about. I'll pack my bags."
  • Xenofiction: Dwayne Johnson / The Rock's Dumb Muscle portrayal of Superman spoofs the trope. As in most Superman adaptations, Superman uses his cover identity as journalist Clark Kent to blend in with humans, but his Daily Planet co-workers immediately find him out because, among other reasons, he keeps haplessly writing his articles from a Superman-centric perspective, e.g. "A man in New York was shot to death yesterday because bullets do not bounce off of human bodies."
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Parodied in the "Z shirt" sketch from the episode hosted by Kevin Hart. The sketch is a commercial for the "Z-shirt" (which is just a T-shirt with the letter "Z" on it), and Hart's character keeps asking what kind of shirt it is, using every letter of the alphabet in order ("Is that an A-shirt?" "Is it a B-shirt?" etc.).
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    I was fired, I was fired/I was fired from NBC
    Then I ended up on In Living Color!/Three weeks later they took it off tv
    • Sean Connery pulls this off on two Celebrity Jeopardy! sketches.
      • The first time, the Final Jeopardy! category is "Things you like". Sean wrote "Alex Trebek" and tells him that his jokes are all good fun. Alex then asks to see what he wagered, and it's revealed that Sean wrote "sucks", making the screen say "Alex Trebek sucks." Lampshaded when Alex says, "I can't believe I fell for that."
      • Then, Alex and Sean share some good-natured laughed at Anne Heche's expense. Sean for his Final Jeopardy! response writes, "I'm sorry, Alex" and again tells him it's nothing personal. The rest of the phrase is revealed through Sean's wager: "Trebek is such a fruit."
  • Yoko Oh No: One sketch in season 38 is about punk rocker Ian Rubbish (Fred Armisen), whose band The Bizarros shot to fame with his sweary anti-establishment rock tracks, until his open support for Margaret Thatcher and the resulting conflicts with his band members started to divide them. It's a rare case of the "Yoko" not needing to be anywhere near the band.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: In the skit Undercover Boss : Where Are They Now?: Kylo Ren, Kylo Ren goes "undercover" as an intern named "Randy" on a First Order ship. He learns that the interns do the "bitch work" - clerical work, droid wrangling, and stuff like serving blue milk to rude officers.
  • You Know What You Did:
    • Arianna Huffington (Nasim Pedrad) criticizing the Bridgegate scandal:
      "If it was done by a woman, she would close off all the lanes, and the neon lightboard would light up saying 'You know what you did!' "
    • One sketch is about a homemade game show with the housewife as the host and all her children as contestants. The rapidfire round is about all the other housewives who have pissed her off in some way that the kids have to guess at; one answer is a simple "she knows what she did."
  • Your Mom: From Weekend Update:
    Michael Che: Scientists say that when people french kiss they transfer over 80 million bacteria. This according to a recent study on yo momma.
  • You Say Tomato: The premise of the "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" song during Christopher Walken's monologue. Played with: Walken didn't alternate pronunciations like he was supposed to:
    Walken: You say potato, I say potato, you say tomato, I say tomato, potato, potato, tomato, tomato...
    (take two...)
    Walken: You say potahto, I say potahto, you say tomahto, I say tomahto, potahto, potahto, tomahto, tomahto...
  • Youtuber Apology Parody: The Daniel Kaluuya / St. Vincent episode had a sketch featuring a fictional YouTube channel called "Prank Posse," where the YouTuber's history of abusive behavior and problematic pranks (such as "Shrek Costume at Funeral" and "Racist Bus Fart") comes to light, which he keeps addressing with somber but clearly insincere apology videos. He nearly kills his friend with a dangerous prank, makes an apology video where he promises to delay an upcoming video where he pranked said friend into kissing his penis, then releases the video anyway, remarking that the worst part about the situation is losing his sponsors. At the end of the video, his friend commits an apparently Deadly Prank on him, quickly says "I am so sorry," to the camera, then runs away.


Where's Wes?

Wes Willard wants you to guess where he is.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / PressStartToGameOver

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